Divide and Conquer

Rather a strange title coming from a Quaker, don’t ya think? It felt rather militaristic to me when I wrote it, but has nothing whatsoever to do with military tactics.

In actuality, it has to do with simplicity and peace, two of the Quaker ideals. In this case, peace of mind and peacefulness in the home, a basis for which other types of peace can germinate.

My house and my mind have been overrun with clutter. Yes, both. I can’t sleep at night because my brain won’t shut down with all the ideas whirring and ghirring. (more on those another time) My poor son couldn’t play in his playroom since there was just too much stuff. Saturday night, the Universe spoke and Sunday morning, I followed through.

The mission? To get rid of half of my books. Just mine, not the shared books or my husband’s books. Also, to get rid of half of my son’s books. He is six and we hadn’t had a book purge since moving to Charlotte three years ago. His bookshelves were due. He was happier to do it when I explained that a) I was doing it too, b) some of the books would be sold, and c) the rest would be donated to our favorite thrift stores.

Four paper bags of donated books later, one Rubbermaid tote full of books to sell, one garbage bag of donated stuffed animals, and two trash bags of trash and broken toys, the toy room is manageable again. The grownup bookshelves are emptier and more organized (no more books piled on top of other books) and the living room and hall are free of toys since they now have a space to be.

Decluttering the living room allowed me the space to be quiet with myself and my business idea notebook later in the afternoon. I managed to write down all the pieces of my business empire jigsaw and see how the pieces fit together. My first entry in that notebook goes back to October of last year, so now eight months of whirring and grring can be laid to rest and I can move onto the next phase and grind away on something new.

My summer goal is to divide my physical imprint in half by slowly sorting through my closet, my garage (with boxes still unpacked from the move), more books, and just the stuff I have in this house. I can encourage my son to do the same with the collections of toys that seem to be here just to be here and hopefully encourage my husband to do the same. I’m hoping that by clearing out my stuff I’ll create the space and the peace he needs in order to continue the process.

When my husband left for work this morning, I said, “Look! I’m a writer who’s actually writing.” That hasn’t happened often of late, but who knew that the benefits of decluttering (and listening to my Inner Spirit) would have such far reaching benefits for me. I didn’t. Now I’ve a cleaner house, a draft business plan, a long blog entry, and a clearer mind — all in 24 hours.

Wonder what’s next? 

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