Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Decrapification: Bringing Order to the Chaos

During my pregnancy I got the "nesting" urge as many women do. We want to prepare our little nests for our impending new additions. For me this came in the form of trying to organize different areas of the house. I decluttered a few small areas, but focused most of my attention on perfecting the nursery. I accomplished what I wanted to: hitting the "reset" button on a perfectly clean and prepped baby's room for our second child. It was soft, delicate, welcoming, and well lit. (Lighting has turned out to be a key element of a good nursery for me: it needs a dimmer switch so I can have however much light I want in the wee hours, and it also needs a good window with natural light so I can see OUT of my four walls into the "real world.")

The nursery project awakened something in me. In order to get baby things back IN to that room, I had to go through what was already there and move some things OUT. I began wondering what other things I could move out of my house. After all, when I went through the stuff in that room, I was being deliberate about what stayed and what went. I got to be choosy and intentional about what exactly I allow to live in my home with me. I was empowered! Just by throwing things away!

Fast forward to today. We are in the season of Lent - a time leading up to the Easter holiday. I was browsing my Facebook feed one day and came across this post about one person's Lent practice. The author's habit is to purge 40 bags of STUFF from her home during the 40 days of Lent. The "40 Bags in 40 Days" title alone grabbed me. Before I'd even clicked the link to read her post I'd decided I wanted to jump on this.

We are about a third of the way through and I am L O V I N G it! It has awakened something in me - something that desperately needed waking. It is as if I can sense tingling in a part of my heart and mind that used to be asleep. I am slowly remembering what margin feels like. I am being reminded that though there is so much of life that is out of my control and influence, there are things I can do to push against that. 

I can bring order to the chaos.

I used to have a corner full of old magazines, now I have space. I used to have makeup and beauty products overflowing from my bathroom sink. Now I have a clear counter top and empty vanity drawers. And I haven't missed any of it for a hot second.

If you have ever had a baby or been close to someone who has, you know how chaotic that first adjustment period is. My family and I are in the process of rearranging the furniture of our lives to fit in another loud, beautiful, growing, cooing, needy, lovely human being. Much of this journey is chaotic. There are so many meaningful, significant things happening and yet so little of it is quantifiable. When my husband comes home and asks me how my day was, I stumble to answer. I did SO MUCH. I hardly had a moment to stop and breathe or think or pee or eat, but I don't know how to articulate it all. It all blurs together into a long, messy day. Every day. All the time. This is why I am finding so much significance in this purging project. Not only can I bring order to the chaos, but I can keep track of how many bags I've purged, what I've purged, and I can write about it. 

I plan to blog through this process - which I hope lasts me through Lent and beyond. It's not too late to join me if you're interested! Trust me, the time and energy you spend on it will be more than worth it.

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