It's confession time. When I look around my house, I still see too much clutter. I've got it hidden away in bedrooms, closets and the garage, but it's there and it's starting to spill out into the living room and kitchen again. I shudder to think how much worse it would be if I never started this blog and my almost daily, 15-minute decluttering sessions.
As I take a cold, hard look at myself and my actions over the past year, the reasons I still have too much clutter aren't because of my husband, the kids or what I haven't gotten rid of. The truth is that I still bring TOO much stuff into the house. Here are my confessions:
I have too much clutter because I accept free stuff.
It's hard to say no to free samples. Whether they are food, hand lotion or books, it can be difficult to turn them down. A part of me thinks that accepting the free things is what a gracious person is supposed to do. You know, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, whatever that means. It's why I have a whole box of puzzles and children's books sitting in the back of my van right now. My mother-in-law was cleaning things out and thought we would like them. I could have been choosier and it wouldn't have hurt her feelings. It's also why I've got a stack of books that I haven't read and may never read from various sources that were giving away used books. And, it's why I have this Mary Kay hand lotion, though I probably won't use it.
I have too much clutter because I go overboard at garage sales and consignment sales.
I love to shop at garage sales and consignment sales. It's fun and it's cheap. I don't feel guilty when I buy something that only cost a fraction of what it did when it was new. And, if I hit the kind of garage sale where everything costs a quarter, watch out! I'm going to have a hard time saying no to my irrational self. That's why I came home with this a few months ago:
I haven't used it yet. I really need to hang it up because it would probably be handy.
I have too much clutter because I feel guilty if I don't treat the boys equally.
Two days ago I was at Target and I gravitated to their 'everything is a dollar' display. They had sand shovels and buckets. The toddler really needed one, so I let him pick out his favorite. That wasn't the problem. The problem was that I also thought I better get one for the six-year-old. He probably could have lived without it. And, because I have this misplaced need to treat all three boys equally, I felt I needed to get the 11-year-old something, too. That's how I came home with this:
He's disinterested. On the bright side, I can probably use it to organize something. But, he didn't need it and neither do I.
I have too much clutter because I'm in DENIAL about how much my behavior contributes to the clutter in our house.
I've got no picture for denial. I guess if you want to see what it looks like, you can look at my profile picture. Someone once told me the picture looked too cluttered because of the throw pillow behind my head. They suggested that I change it as it might not reflect the message I'm trying to send with this blog. At the time, I thought that was ridiculous. Now, I'm thinking she might have been on to something.
So, what am I going to do about it? I could try to change the above behaviors. They do need changing. When I'm in the moment of decision at a store or garage sale, I don't really think about clutter, though. Maybe I need to attach a post-it to my debit card or my wallet reminding me to think of clutter before I buy something. I'll have to think on this a bit. Hmm...