Joy in Decluttering…

Twenty years ago my husband lovingly, carefully and competently prepared and repainted the exterior of his home.

This past weekend, our neighbor’s house-painting-professional son (now the same age as my husband was then) began to prepare, carefully and competently, our home for a fresh coat of paint.  His work resulted in the usual mess, piles of soggy dust mixed with peels of old paint, and a few pieces of rotted siding, all of which he did clean up thoroughly before he quit for the day.

The joy of seeing that old paint giving way to the new feels like the glee of a good decluttering.  I suspect it’ll feel even more like that joy when our rusted out gutters are removed and replaced in a couple of weeks.

So this old blogger’s mind went all clinical, wondering about the differences among cleaning a home, maintaining a home,  and decluttering a home.

Maybe this works…

  • Cleaning: removing dirt
  • Home Maintenance: removing worn out, non-functioning bits of a home’s working parts and replacing them with new, more efficient, safer stuff
  • Decluttering: removing from one’s home anything that fills up space without serving a purpose

But you know what?  It just doesn’t matter what the differences are because…

  • It feels GOOD to get rid of cobwebs, worn out gutters, or boxes of thirty-year-old House Beautiful magazines.
  • It feels GOOD to wash sticky countertops, replace a broken microwave, or donate six embroidery hoops to a crafters’ circle.
  • It feels really GOOD to trash five ancient half used packs of paper plates, give a shoebox full of half used paint tubes to an art student, or dust off a floor lamp and reposition it to where its light is needed.

It feels good to take charge of my stuff and my space.


Author: American Declutterer

I've had three careers, moved among thirteen states, and cleared four houses after loved ones moved on. Sometimes you just have to look at all the stuff and laugh. Then get back to discarding.

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