Cleaning out the …..

Clutter. Stuff. The ultimate treasure hunt, leading me down a memory lane extravaganza. For me, the task of the century, the epitome of my mental clutter resides in the cubby hole downstairs in my Father’s basement. A 3.5 foot tall cement alcove, covering the width of the ENTIRE farmhouse, solely built to withstand the elements of earthquake, flood and even possibly fire. Built to store and stockhold all that belongs to his children. I’d say 90% of what is hidden in its depths belongs to yours truly. sKY, the pack-rat. Who would have ever thought that a world traveller, perpetually in adventure backpacking mode, could retain and stockpile so much STUFF?! But somehow I managed. After each traverse into the big wide world, I came home, unloaded, started over and took off in a new direction. Only to leave my discarded belongings in limbo, waiting patiently for a day such as this. I think my Dad even got tired of finally moving and shifting my stuff around whilst I was off gallivanting. And now, the task resides with me. Head on, no holds barred confrontation. Empty it out completely, stack it in the barn, and attack it with wild abandon. 30 some odd years of pat-racking everything that symbolizes my being, my wants, desires, dislikes. Everything that I own and covet …. STUFF. Now begins the process of emptying, sorting, filing, cleansing, purging, donating, recycling, freecycling, eliminating, selling, organizing, repairing, repacking, labelling and putting away all that doesn’t find a useful / needed place within our new home, our Airstream. Everything. All that fills my life, clutters my physical being, hidden in nooks and crannies long forgotten.

DeClutter Mind Map by Paul Foreman

De-Clutter Mind Map by Paul Foreman

I suppose the process began in Calgary. What a painful experience that was! How could we have possibly contained so much in 500 square feet? But we did. And with only 2 weeks to deal with our STUFF (plus everything else that goes with leaving a job, a home, a lifestyle, our community, a life and our friends), I was traumatized. S T R E S S F U L was the name of the game (thank you Robin and TJ for saving our butts in the final hour). My inner yogi basically flew out the window, and has yet to return! All the skills and abilities and advice I so often extolled to my students took a u-turn and was nowhere to be seen. Overwhelmed, drained, energy-sucking, vitality draining vampire. Stuff.

© clangnuts.com

The Evil Clutter Fairy © clangnuts.com

People say that we are brave in the new life we are about to embark on. I say that bravery starts on the inside, dealing with STUFF. It takes courage and honesty to approach the task of decluttering both our inner and outer worlds. slaDE~ and I started the process last night. To say that our process started out smoothly would be like saying that I fear nothing in this life. Quite the opposite. I fear everything and anything. I’m a huge scaredy-cat. Facing change and the unknown are 2 of life’s biggest challenges. Forever and always. My nemesis. But that’s okay. I know that I’m not alone. And slaDE~ is patient and willing to accompany me on this journey, of de-cluttering the possessions that WE own. However, single-handedly I must evict the cubby hole of all its belongings, sorting, organizing and cleaning my way through it in whatever way possible. The onus is on me. For only I can decipher the meaning and depth of it all. Where to start? Unload it ALL into the barn, and sort through each and every container, one rubbermaid box at a time. Bit by bit, piece by piece, breath by breath. Oh yes, with kleenex and camera at hand. It’s going to be one heck of a memory hike. I’m actually starting to look forward to it :).

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