Baby Steps in August

Oh how time flies. The end of August is already upon us. It has been a frustrating and rewarding month.

I’ll start with the frustrating part. As you may recall, July had my family on a de-cluttering high. We got rid of so much stuff and unearthed even more stuff to sort. It felt great, actually it still feels great, to have unburdened ourselves as much as we have. I know there is more to do, but the benefits have been immediately felt.

After so much “success” measured in how many items were removed from the house during July, I expected to see similar “progress” in August. I started a list of items so I could always know how many things were removed, and took before photos of Rie’s room. Then life happened.

The busy season started at work. Rie became sick, and ultimately was diagnosed with a milk allergy. We have been learning about nondairy foods. There was a family vacation in there somewhere. My list stalled at 192 items (64 of which are old clothes hangers we no longer need!). Compared to what was “accomplished” in July this seems very small, and I wondered if I was straying from my journey so early after starting it.

Then I shook myself and realized a couple things (this is the rewarding part). This clutter didn’t happen in a month or two. It took seven years of marriage and some clutter left over from college and childhood to get us in this deep. It is going to take time to sort it all out and this is not a race.

Most importantly, very few items have entered the house. A lifestyle change is taking place. Purchases are more thoughtful. Even groceries have become more purposeful. De-cluttering is great and all, but without an attitude adjustment about acquiring, what’s the point?

Last weekend I saw this label on the underside of a drink cap and laughed. A few months ago I might have been merely disgusted, but now I see messages like this and feel all the wiser for being able to see through them:



So, yeah, August was a rough one, but D and I are staying the course. Every little step on this journey is a step in the right direction.


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