I’ve been writing quite often about minimalism, the need to declutter, and my own attempt at saving my sanity in a world seemingly filled with chaos. This post is just me putting my thoughts in words and trying to understand what drives me in this…what drives you in this.
Today, although a day full of laughter, was also a day filled with much stress and anxiety over situations which I have little control. I noticed that my way of dealing with such matters, is to clean. To clean and declutter. But something odd happened today that made me stop and have a word with myself. I realised that the chaos in my environment is creating chaos in my mind (and that works the other way also!). I also realised that I am also mindlessly scrolling through online shops (& badly tempting myself to break my shopping ban) as a tool to escape my stress. To just…not think.
None of these is a good habit.
Window shopping online, though mind-numbing, is a horrible habit. I found all manner of lovely items that I never knew I needed, but am now fantasising about. Not the best idea for me at the moment. Because for some reason, when I am really anxious about something, those new baubles feel so….necessary. More necessary than that pile of bills waiting for payment. And how twisted is that?! Of course, I do have enough self-control to fight the urge to make those purchases. It’s the fact that I’m even considering it, that truly disturbs me. What is my problem?! Why am I so distressed that all logical reasoning seems to have left me? Uncool.
Cleaning. Cleaning isn’t a bad thing. Of course not. Except when everyone around me gets very nervous because I am cleaning with such vigour (? Is that the proper word?) that the people around me are trying to find out what’s wrong. Crazy cleaning. Yea, that’s it. Crazy cleaning. That’s not OK.
Declutter rampage. I understand that I am running the declutter challenge. Today, I was so… overwhelmed, that I truthfully had the feeling that I could happily live with about 10% of the stuff. I don’t actually have so much, so that’s actually quite a small amount. Most of my clutter is paperwork, bills, more papers, printouts, instruction manuals (all things which must be kept for what, 10 years?) random ‘what-if’ items (like empty plastic boxes that I will never use as food containers), photos from everywhere & everyone, expired sauce mixes that I don’t like but feel wasteful to toss out, and sentimental items. These are the items which are consistently moved from place to place, but never find a proper place where they are organised and away. I took the time to sit and think about why I was reacting this way. I considered many possible options. 1 of them being that there is an actual term for people who just purge their items obsessively. I think the term is anti-hoarding, but I cannot remember. There is a whole thing with it, although it is not so common because minimalism is good, but hoarding is really bad. (OK, I am not saying that minimalism is a behavioural problem. I’m saying that people who purge everything including their bed, is beginning to be seen as a problem.) This is not my situation though because our place is a ‘work in progress’…let’s say that. And then the thought came to me. OMG now I understand why I’m so strange about this sometimes. I have spent so much of my life living like a nomad. One in which I could fit all of my possessions in 2 large luggages, that just being in a normal home with average stuff (like dishes, spices, pictures, open cabinets, paperwork & exactly 5 nic nacs) overwhelms me completely. It isn’t my environment that’s causing a problem. It’s me.
Once I had finally completed my self-analysis, the stress and anxiety had left me. Presumably to go find someone more fun to annoy. But now I am really thinking about these things. Although I may have discovered the reason for my clutter craziness, it doesn’t mean that it will stop bothering me. True, I have to be able to compromise and not force my husband to live in a stark environment. But I also have to get things organised (and yes, continue some decluttering) so that I can put myself in a happy mind.
I will surely be over-analysing the purchase-purge cycle that so many of us find ourselves in. I have already been considering this quite a bit because I am on the shopping ban for many months now and have spent a large amount of that time analysing the purchasing decisions I make. This came up today because of the time spent on the net dreaming about items of clothing I would feel fabulous in.
So I guess for you this means: More strange analytical blog posts upcoming.
Do you do this?