Every year, a month prior to Christmas, I always do a major purge. We HAVE to do this in order to get ready for all the new items that enter our home. We just cannot accommodate everything. It’s impossible with the amount of space we own. Living in New York is amazing – it’s all I’ve ever known. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But there’s a cost for this zip code… and it’s called square footage. If I moved down south, I’m sure I could triple the size of my footprint. But that’s just not going to happen. I’m staying put and have decided to make some adjustments instead.
This season, I couldn’t do my annual purge because Liam was sick. His hospital visits threw us all for a loop. Everything was off schedule. So, when Christmas Eve came and the kids opened up their presents, I had a panic attack.
Where was all this stuff going to go?
Christmas Day was canceled — his parents were too sick to host us. So, luckily I had all day to clean the house. I think I spent about 6 hours getting through all our new gifts and garbage. On that day, I managed to clean only the formal living room, dining room and kitchen. There was still so much more house to go.
Two days later, I am happy to say that I am done. If you look alongside my house, it looks like we moved! I cannot tell you how many bags of garbage we threw away. Broken / overused / incomplete items — all that were held onto for far too long. The kids and I tackled the basement and their rooms together. We probably made about 20 bags for the poor – which included toys and clothing. That is how much we’ve kept within these walls that should not have been here. That’s what’s been weighing on my back every single time I walked through my front door.
Three days later – I cannot tell you what it feels like to walk into a home that is clutter free. The tables are empty. Even the side tables! You can open their drawers too — those aren’t jammed with toys and half used papers. Oh no – we got to every corner this week. Or, I guess I should say that I got to every corner. I was a woman on a mission. I wouldn’t stop.
My brain typically is on fire. It has two streaming thoughts flying at once at all times. I joke on occasion that I am manic because my thoughts are simply ALWAYS on overdrive. I can’t quiet my mind ever. I always must be doing / thinking / making a list / planning ahead. But while I was cleaning, my mind was quiet. She was actually silent. Her one focus was on the task at hand — to clean my house. I didn’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday. I didn’t worry about the blog (sorry) or what I was going to cook for dinner. All I worried about was what room I was focusing on. It was therapeutic and blissful to not hear myself THINK for those few days. Truly!
In the beginning, I was frustrated. I was angry even! Because no one was helping me. Everyone was off on their own and doing their thing while I walked back and forth (over and over and over again) going through each corner of the house and assessing what was going to stay or leave. But as I dug out of my hole and as I finally began to feel the sunshine on my face, the anger disappeared. It was replaced with a wonderful calm. A calm I still feel right at this very moment.
My house was in a state of chaos for 13 years. I can’t explain it. I lived it. Mess surrounded me. It consumed me. It shadowed me every single place I turned. I would come home from work and walk into my home and suddenly tense up. But I am no longer filled with anxiety. My home has become a place of peace.
It took a very long time. Don’t get me wrong. But now that I am sitting in my home and it is free of all that baggage, I feel new again.
I encourage to you go through your house – room by room and get rid of the chaos! Stop holding onto things that you THINK you need to hold onto. I kept only the things that I actually use. I’m telling you … I almost want to photograph this place for RECORD. LOL!
Have you every done something like this before — a mass purge? How did it make you feel once you were done?