What do these 2 stories have in common?
1—A little girl is fixated on a toy in a gift shop that her parents said no to. She misses all the fun of meteor showers and sound and light excitement at the T-Rex restaurant in downtown Disney. The rest of the family enjoys all—the food, the amazing sights, and the reptiles they enjoyed, little sis even kissing a boa constrictor. But she pouts on. [This is from Ruth Souka, a wonderful blogger and author of Living Well, Spending Less.]
2—A woman wants to have her family members and friends over more. But it’s such an ordeal to clean and get things in order so you can converse in restful spaces. Books and papers litter every crook and cranny in her beloved office nook, a space that could be a pleasure if only it was in order. Every counter is covered with dirty pots in the kitchen. By the time she has huffed and puffed to get things in decent shape, she’s too tired to cook. She is not happy—not pouting, mind you, just not happy about this poison of chaos and stuff. (BTW, her other family members are oblivious to messes that they’re also creating.) It’s a terrible, wonderful Lord of the Rings journey; like Frodo, they just need to offload the awful into the Crack of Doom so they can get on with enjoying their stunning life in their beloved Shire.
Ok, so neither the woman nor the little girl are happy, not free to enjoy what is around them that’s good.
Story #1—The parents of this little girl later conducted an experiment of taking away the toys a while after repeated warnings to clean up a room that was perfectly ordered, including baskets labelled to make it easy for her and little sis to clean up. A cajillion warnings did not result in clean-up… so the toys, all of them, were taken away…yes, the mom was worried about whether or not this was a too tough strategy for learning about contentment.
But the results of unstuffing their room:
- The girls came to love not being overwhelmed by stuff. They assured their mommy that it was okay not to have so many toys because they liked not having so much to clean up.
- They used their imaginations more to make up games and were busy all day
- They came to be able to really focus on one task and not rush on to another
- They became more content and appreciative of what they had, more willing to share
- They became more aware and compassionate toward the needs of others
- Less sibling rivalry and fighting!
- Best of all, they came to realize what excess was and became content with window shopping and just being without the need to buy everything they saw.
Story #2—This one is still in progress. Well, it’s me But I can see the light of having less stuff to take care of and more time to love and enjoy the people in my life. So I am convinced and convicted again as to the decision I made earlier this year –to unstuff my life, home, heart, mind, body of stuff not good for me or not needed.
Any tips for organization and decluttering? Send it my way. I’m intent but need help! Time to unstuff my stuff, but it feels like Orcs are running through, tearing up what I am trying to shape up!