Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In Our Garage




Do you ever have those moments where you think to yourself, "I'm getting better at this life thing"? I've had a few of those recently, which is nice. But of course, moments like these are almost always followed by a good reality check where I re-realize that I don't, in fact, know anything. I've said almost this exact same thing on my blog before (maybe three times!), and I don't know if I'll ever get over it. Because really, those bits of clarity! Oh, how they sparkle! I love that, when things feel like they're clicking into place- feeling like you're figuring out some secret you didn't even know was a secret. I think this has to do with knowing yourself more, being able to see yourself going down the same path you've already been, and recognizing when it's time to pump the brake.

Last weekend Hank and I spent an entire day cleaning out our garage, and at times I had to laugh at how silly we were, spending our lovely day off covered in dust and dirt, giving more snacks to Charlie in the pack 'n play and more movies to Henry in the living room, just to power through. Our house is typically very clean- we don't have a lot of "stuff" and I'm not a clutter or knick-knacky kinda person, so it isn't terribly hard to keep it organized (although this does not include the "junk" drawer that has somehow spilled into a second drawer!). But...that poor garage. Our garage has been in a sad state. When we bought this house right before Henry was born I was in a nesting frenzy and obsessively and meticulously labeled boxes and put them in their proper places. But as the past four years have gone by I've had spurts of laziness when putting things away post-holiday or post-get together or post-whatever, which in turn snowballed into our originally organized things becoming a big hodge podge of random stuff. I'm sure you know what I mean. That orange pumpkin basket from Halloween always kind of laid on top of something (my intention was to put it into the non-existent Halloween box eventually), a broken drumstick that should be thrown away yet always ended turning up somewhere, and random clothing set aside for a donate pile that eventually grew and became the pile itself. Then add in an accumulation of bikes and drums and Power Wheels and strollers and seven boxes of memories from my parents' house...and you have a nightmare.

But of course any free weekend we had, the very last thing we wanted to do was spend it in there. And those seven boxes called to me every time I pulled my car into the garage- they taunted me, all piled up like that and reminded me that I had stuff to do! I had boxes to go through! What was I thinking, hanging out with friends when I had a lifetime of parent-collected memories to sort?!

So a couple of weeks ago Hank and I decided that Labor Day would be it! That would be the day!

Now I have to tell you, if you're ever starting to feel too cool, like maybe you've got this life thing figured out (see paragraph one), just take a walk down memory lane, and revisit junior high and maybe even high school. GOD. I look at the clothes, the hair, how awesome I really believed I was...and I have to laugh. So much bad poetry, so many crushes, so much drama (I was reminded of this after sorting through hundreds of notes from friends I'd somehow saved).

And there I sat, in a pile of years, lost for hours remembering so many things I hadn't thought of in a decade. And as I remembered I sorted. Keep, throw away. Keep, throw away. It felt weird to get rid of things I once loved, but as much as I love nostalgia I love not having clutter even more, so I threw away a lot. And it felt good!

Sometimes I think you need to get rid of the old to make way for the new. And it's not like our crowded garage was holding me back, but once we listed the bikes for sale on Craigslist and I whittled seven boxes down to one and we closed up that last holiday box, edited and organized to a tee, I felt better than I had in months.

So yeah, this is one of those posts that's not really about anything. Although it kind of is, I guess. There's a bit about simplicity there, how much I enjoy having less (which sometimes surprises me because I am someone who does gravitate towards more half the time!). But I'm learning. And like I said up there, part of feeling like we've got it figured out is knowing when we're starting to make a wrong turn. Stopping. And resetting. There's a bit about that. But I guess the biggest thing would be that sometimes in life it's good to just jump right in and edit. Keep and throw away, keep and throw away. Sometimes you go through seven boxes of things you thought you needed all along, but as it turns out, you only needed one. That's kind of where I'm at in life right now. Taking a big step back and seeing what I've got, and seeing what I need. Keeping what works and understanding that it's okay to discard the rest. This is progress.

11 comments:

  1. it always makes me much good to read you Dani, you know so well write what I feel, often simultaneously. Keep the basics and advance ..

    xoxo

    coralie

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    1. Thank you for the sweet comment, Coralie! <3

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  2. A couple weeks ago I prepared a donation for pick up and found boxes I hadn't opened in quite a while. I found dolls my grandmothers gave me, cards from family from when I was really little and even my old Jem doll. It made me wonder how much we really need to hold onto. I got rid of a lot, but I'm not ready to get rid of some of those childhood items yet. As I get older, I realize how much happier I am simplifying my life and not holding onto a lot of things just because they're there. Great post!

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    1. Isn't it so neat to see stuff like old cards and little things like that? I save a lot for my kids too, and I hope one day they enjoy looking through them. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Jessica! <3

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  3. I fear that I'm getting knick-knacking in my older age--- I can't help it, family keeps bringing me beautiful little things from other countries. And apparently one beautiful little thing is not enough, because they bring me a handful. haha. Clean is good. Other than tiny little beautiful things, we're al about the simple :)

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    1. I would be the same way if I had family bringing me tiny, beautiful things. I def. wouldn't be able to part with them.

      Love you tons, lady! xoxo

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  4. Since brining a baby into our family and having to put our knick knack things away I'm discovering that I'm enjoying a simpler kind of setting in our house. And now our under staircase storage has become our taunting pile of stuff to sort through. So you have just reminded me that this needs to be done asap so I can skip right to that 'aw yeah' moment where you want to high five yourself for getting grown up stuff done!

    Lauren
    andtogetherwe.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm the same way- I will pile it up in a box until I can't take it anymore, then finally go through and purge. I'm giving you a high five in advance, for that "aw yeah" moment you'll have! ;)

      xo

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  5. So good. We only just this week finally got rid of all the moving boxes that we just kept throwing in the garage! It felt so good to get them out of there. And I couldn't agree more on having less stuff. Oddly enough I feel like the fewer "things" we have the fewer I think I need. I look around and think "hey it looks good, kinda empty, but good."

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    1. Right? It feels SO good to get rid of stuff! I often feel mentally cluttered when my surroundings are cluttered. So funny how our brains work.

      <3 <3

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  6. I'm having one of those moments of 'clarity', when I read your comment 'keep, and throw away'. I mean why can't life be that simple? I like it, so I am going to keep it - people, jobs, routine, anything! A nice simplistic way of viewing life...sadly I do not think this motto can be kept up, too many factors involved in any one decision. Nice post :)

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