I’ve been reading some books about strengthening one’s marriage lately. Every now and then I have to take a look at myself, see where I stand, and see where I need to make some attitude adjustments. The perfect marriage doesn’t exist, if I define perfection by no disagreements, no hardships, no frustrations, no clashes due to any reason.
But maybe I’ve been spending too much time thinking about all the ways that I’m hurting, and not enough time thinking about ways to count my blessings and be happy. Maybe I’ve not spent enough time thinking about how I can help my husband be happier at home. It’s not like it’s any secret that he likes to have the house neat and orderly. And honestly, I do too. I’d just rather have someone else do the work to make it neat and orderly.
Yesterday I read a comment about Brigham Young thinking that the ideal day consisted of 8 hours’ work, 8 hours’ recreation, and 8 hours’ sleep. I had to laugh, because that’s so not how my typical days go. I’m already in the debit column on the recreation side of things by the time I get home from work. Well, that is, unless you count my hour and a half daily commute as recreation. Now that Lolo no longer commutes with me, I’m back to listening to books on CD as I travel, so I suppose that would count at least a little bit in the recreation column. It also usually keeps me interested enough in what I’m listening to that I don’t scream and cuss out the drivers on the road who don’t drive exactly as I want them to, which is also a bonus.
And then I had to take a step back again. The reason my yucky house takes up so much of my recreation hours–in addition to the obvious fact that I’m away from the home a little over 10 hours a day–is because I’m a slob. And now that I’ve been actually working to get things orderly, get rid of clutter, clean, etc., it’s taking a lot of time because I’m making up for a long time of slobitude.
I know I’ve mentioned before how much watching the show Hoarders helps me. I’m not anywhere near the degree of hoarding that the people on that show are, but watching their struggles has helped me see where I’m hanging on to things unnecessarily. So before I get going on a marathon declutter session, I’ll put on an episode of the show (thank you, A&E, for having a few full episodes available to watch online).
The other issue tied up with the hoarding/clutter/decluttering, etc., is bringing things in. I love to decorate homes. I think I’d be a fabulous interior decorator. (I’m also a fabulous personal stylist. Love to dress people.) But when it comes to my home, it’s like I never know when enough is too much. When we painted the living room, for instance, and completely changed the colour and decor, I kept finding little knickknacks that would be perfect. I think my frequent exclamation was something along the lines of, “This was made for my living room!” And okay, it was, but do I need it? Do I have a place to put it? Is it worth the cost? Because the cost is far more than the few dollars I paid for it. It’s also the cost of looking at a cluttered mantelpiece, the cost of the little dog knocking it onto the floor and breaking it, the cost of having to clean over, above, under, and around it.
In the latest declutter session I did, I went through my guest room. I decided that it’s no longer the Egypt room, and decided that I no longer need to keep stacks and stacks of books on Egypt that I’m not going to read anymore. So all the books went out of the house, and I took them to Half-Price Books. I got a few sheckels in return–nothing even close to the value of the books–but it worked out beautifully compared to the value of having that much less clutter. I also took all the Egyptian decorations off the walls and shelves, and took them to Goodwill, along with a huge bag of clothing that needed to be removed from my closet. I know what colour I’m going to paint that room, and normally I would by now be looking for accent pieces (artwork, knickknacks, etc.). But I’m learning that I don’t really want to. Yes, I would love to have a nice piece of art to hang on the wall when the room gets painted, and I feel confident that in time I will find something. But I don’t want things all over the place in there. I want that room to be clean and tidy.
I know that for anyone who knows me, or who has read my blog, knows that I’m always talking about decluttering but never do it. It’s actually getting done this time. I’m taking my time, but I’m being a lot more ruthless. Last Saturday, f’rinstance, I took three black trash bags stuffed full of clothes & other things that are still good but that I don’t need to Goodwill, along with a large woven beach bag full of things, and one more paper trash bag full of things. I also took a bag full of books to Half-Price Books (the Egypt books had already gone earlier in the week). That pretty much totaled a car full of things that had been in my house and were now gone.
I also–much to the dismay of my husband–got a huge binder that holds all our DVD’s, and put them into the binder, discarding the cases. Now there is one place for all our DVD’s, and they’re not scattered over three rooms in the house (living room, bedroom, & guest room). He asked me if I’d at least alphabetized them, so we’d be able to find what movie we were looking for without having to go through the whole binder. Well, no, I didn’t. It seemed like a waste of time. How many times have I alphabetized all our DVD cases, only to have them out of order within a matter of days? And how many times have I picked up a DVD case and opened it, only to find that it was either empty or had a different DVD in it? Now everything is in one place. And it takes up much, much less room than the two DVD towers we own and the third DVD tower that I was about to buy because there wasn’t enough room for them all in the two DVD towers we already own.
Being a slob sucks. Being a reforming slob sucks only slightly less, but will pay off when I’m no longer a reforming slob, but an actual former slob!
I’m also finding that the more things that I get out of my house, the more peaceful it feels inside my house.