Yesterday I wrote about sorting and sifting and getting rid of the “fluff.” When I read back through it today, I realized the piece needed some sorting and sifting of its own. So here is the “filtered” version:
Inspired by a dear friend who was cleaning out belongings and ridding their family of unnecessary things, I began my own purging undertaking to rid our home of things we no longer needed. I made a plan – a room each month, with no drawer or cabinet left undone. Looking towards retirement at the end of the year, I knew I wanted it done before then.
Somehow each month a day appeared (or two or three) that offered me the time to pull out things, think through their value, and reorganize our lives. The completion of each room made me more ready to move on to the next one. One rainy day I managed to go through the entire room I dreaded most – the kitchen. I was exhausted at the end of the day, and none of my hard work showed on the surface. Yet having the knowledge buried in my own heart of what was (and wasn’t) inside all those hidden spaces became a solace for me.
And in the midst of this organization at home, retirement was looming. There was much at school to be taken care of as well. Sorting through computer files took the most amount of time, and was mind boggling and totally draining mentally. I started that in January, and I also came in during spring break and cleaned out my filing cabinets. I do believe I finally accomplished these tasks with good results, and it made me wish I had put those files in order long ago. My large collection of personal books that was there at school dwindled daily as I began taking them home just a few at a time.
Everything that I brought home is now in one filing cabinet in the garage and one box under the bed. It all needs to be sorted through one more time, and I believe I will eliminate a few more things. It has been an arduous but very gratifying journey. However, it was worth every effort and mental strain. On that last day of school, just as I had hoped, I walked out with my purse on my shoulder and a few bittersweet tears in my eyes.
This whole process of ordering my life has taught me so much. I can find things more easily now. I have gotten rid of “stuff” that had placed itself in the way of my treasuring those other, much more important gifts. Much of the activity in our lives of the last few months is now a blur because I was “in my head” for a good deal of that time – sorting and sifting to find the grain among the chaff, the true gold amidst the gravel. But now, there are exciting days ahead, and I won’t be weighed down with the burden of unnecessary things.