Today I want to get to the bottom of procrastination and fix it. Our marriage counselor talks about ego, the part of my personality that resists change, that wants to keep everything just like it is, both physically and emotionally. She tells us we must reach deep into a different place in order to change, a place that begins in compassion, respect, gentleness and love. The ego will resist all change, requiring a conscious effort to put it aside. I'm wondering if her wisdom about changing our attitudes and behaviors toward one another might be useful with clutter procrastination.
If clutter procrastination with the physical stuff in my house IS inter-related with procrastination of clearing emotional clutter, then maybe I could improve my odds of enjoying my marriage by getting rid of physical clutter, one day at a time, one pile at a time. Duh... sounds like a no-brainer to me.
To that end, the Costco magazine again proves useful with an article in the current issue about De-Cluttering (pg 43). I especially like the list of 5 questions to ask when deciding whether to keep or not to keep any specific item:
-- When was the item last used?
-- When might I use it again?
-- Does the object enhance or hinder my life?
-- Has it affected the quality of the life I'm living or want to live?
-- Is it replaceable?
That makes sense. Once the decision about keeping is made, it's important to physically move the item, to put it away if keeping it, or to put it into a specific container destined for the thrift store, dump, recycle, donate, give or sell.
I know from experience that I have to be very wary of the sell option. I procrastinate on that too. I have many boxes of things that people might buy, that I could try to sell on eBay, that are somewhat collectible. Do I do anything about selling them? No. Is it because of the ego wanting to hold on or is it just because I'm not fond of selling? Who knows, maybe both. I need to let go of these things. They are millstones around my neck.
Am I willing to make a commitment right here and now? Oooooh, I feel the resistance... the little voice is saying, "You need to work on your art and catch up on blogging and take your walk... that's enough for one day... you can start de-cluttering later, some other day." I say no to the voice and yes to de-cluttering, one day at a time... starting today.
Today I will de-clutter four piles of stuff in the immediate vicinity of my computer... put away, throw away and recycle all of it. I will ask the five questions and make decisions based on my answers.
Tomorrow I will file a report here and also write more about this subject, about how my 68-year-old memory is cluttered and about how I hold onto stuff, memorabilia, because I'm afraid I'll forget.
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Today's gratitude list: cottage cheese 'n' home-made applesauce, sunshine, signs of spring, people who take the time to read and write blogs.