When I moved into my little, boring, and relatively empty house, 24 years ago, the only thing it had going for it was the wonderful man living there. My husband's house, now ours, was a blank slate, but I owned a store. This is a really long story, about to be shortened to a sentence. He came in, we fell in love, I moved out, and in with him, closed my store, but brought everything from it into this little, boring, blank slate of a house. I'd moved, prior to that (I know, 2nd sentence), from +3000 sq ft, to a bunch of random storage spaces, a 450 sq ft. house, and a store. The main floor of my new house was just under 500 sq ft. This was a HUGE challenge.
I have never been a minimalist, and my husband had been somewhat forced into it, so between us, we had it jammed to the rafters in a matter of weeks, and the struggle between my stuff, and his wants and needs began.
First, the front, unheated veranda became a room where plants could thrive, with a raised ceiling, venetian plastered walls, an adorable, painted checkerboard floor, and it was filled with beautiful, antique furniture. However, it didn't take long before we realized it was a potential mud room, if it wasn't trying so hard to just be pretty. We began to sell off the merchandise I'd collected over the years, and looked at this space as USEABLE, open storage, where our cool season paraphernalia could be hung. The mud room of today uses vertical storage because it's otherwise, all doorway and window.
CLUTTER IS A STICKLER. It sticks to your stomach whenever you look at it. It sticks in your mind when you are trying to get something done. It sticks so long, it's in your dreams, making them less than pleasant. It sticks to the door, so much so, that you can't open it to invite friends, or family, in anymore. It sticks to your conscience where it begins to convince you, you have a huge personality disorder, and you become self-loathing, and embarrassed to even talk about it. It's like the worst porridge you've ever eaten, except it's all there is, you're starving, and are sick to death of trying to finish off the never-ending, inedible meal placed before you.
What to do?
HOME EDITING is definitely not a simple thing for many people, as it involves years and years of bad habits, compulsive behavior, and literally, so much STUFF that you wouldn't know where to begin, even if you could get to that point. So, what happens??? Most often, not much, or nothing at all.
I'd show you pictures of our (never to be anything but a concrete floor, fir beamed, unshelved) basement, but if you are reading this, then you'll know why I'd prefer not to. It's OUR PLACE of embarrassment, and with the exception of a few very close friends who have barged down the stairs, having not realized we even had a basement, and all the service people we say "we're renovating" to, it stays the same, although more and more boxes of stuff have left in the past few months than have in years.
The COURSE in home editing, decluttering, freedom from stuff you hate but can't get rid of, is a relatively complex one, due to the fact that we all have different reasons for keeping things we don't love, like, want, need, care for, and sometimes, hate. Without determining what the reason is behind the "why can't I do this", there is the problem of not just getting started, but recognizing, like a diet, it's a lifestyle change, and not just something you can get done in a couple of week-ends of purging. Most people who try this method end up back in the same place, having now spent MORE MONEY replacing them/it, and one of our other, many excuses for NOT doing the edit, is because it we paid a lot of money for it, and we may need it one day.
CLUTTER: the porridge we can no longer stand to eat, but it's so entrenched into our psyche, and sticky, it won't let us go. BEING TRAPPED IN STUFF IS NEVER A GOOD THING.