Winter is turning out to be a good time to clear out some of the clutter which seems to pile up so easily around the house. It’s partly training the kids to put their stuff away, but it’s also me needing to make more space in the kitchen, not start too many things at once, and put stuff away the first time whenever possible. Even after years as a homemaker, I found I needed to step up my game to take charge of certain tasks instead of letting them take charge of me (Dishes, fear me). Constant vigilance, as Mad-Eye Moody would say.
I don’t feel like we have more stuff than the average middle-class American family, but I am constantly amazed by how “I’ll just put that here for now” or “I’ll get to that in a little bit” turns into “what is that and why is it still there??” I’m lucky to have a good stash of yarn, fiber, and other supplies, so I can at least go “cold sheep” this year and not add to the bins of wool. I’ve been decluttering off and on through the years, but now I found online a home organizing challenge that I am going to work on this year. What does it say about me that I was thrilled to cross off attic and china right away (because I have neither) or that I was sure I wouldn’t need a whole year? Huh. Some items on that list are going to take more than a week and some a few minutes. Of course, it’ll work best if I actually do something each week!
That’s where things get tricky. My family comes first, and I am preparing to return to the work force (some time this year, if all goes well). Making a creative space is not just about clearing out clutter; it’s also about making choices with limited time. When will I have time to get out that peg loom? I still have good ideas for that pile of T-shirts to recycle. What about that big needlepoint project I adopted from my neighbor? The sweaters I plan to knit that I know will really add to my tired wardrobe? [pause for a moment while I guiltily observe a kind neighbor shoveling my sidewalk] What about those experiments with needle felting. The answer for me: love the process of doing creative things and don’t be in a hurry for the end result.