My house used to be filled with stuff. Things I thought were important, needed, that I couldn't live without. With mementos, we-might-need-this-somedays, and other seemingly useful objects. Weeks before a birthday party or overnight guests arriving, we'd start to clean the house. Weeks. It would take that long to find places to stash everything that didn't have a place, to catch up on the seemingly insurmountable mountain of laundry that dwelled in our basement, and to make room for places to sleep or for fun to be had. Even then, we'd often end up throwing a bunch of stuff in boxes and stashing it into our basement. Our stuff owned us more than we owned our stuff.
Now, I move through my house and enjoy what's here.
Over the past few years, as my mobility has decreased, my need to let go of expectations, wants, and stuff has increased. We've given things to people in need, donated to thrift stores, rehomed items with friends who can use them, and bartered our stuff for things we need. As I go about my day, I often find things that aren't bringing me joy and plunk them into the donation bag.
No longer is there a moment of panic and lots of frenzied cleaning when a friend says she's going to stop by. Nor are there boxes of miscellany cluttering our basement. I no longer have the urge to escape my house to get a break from seeing all the work that needs to be done, as it takes very little time to return things to their proper spots so I can relax. If only the laundry and dishes would cooperate in the same manner!
As I continue my Lenten journey, I will continue to remove from my house things that don't serve me in function or in pulchritude.
Forty Days: In Thought, Word, and Deed