“Later is the best friend of clutter” – Peter Walsh
What makes us hold on to some things and easily toss others? For example, we were renovating, had a large dumpster, we were tossing things left, right and center and I found my mom’s wedding dress. Now, my mom was a teeny tiny beautiful woman, and when I say teeny tiny, I mean she was TEENY TINY! Anyway, I knew that I would never ever wear the dress, mainly due to the size but also because it was made in the good ole days and it was so darn itchy with the lace and sequins or itchy stuff as I call it. I mean it was so tiny that our girls would wear it for Halloween when they were little (as the bride of Frankenstein or just as a bride or princess) so I decided that nobody will wear it and off it went into the dumpster. This was months before our oldest daughter’s wedding and she just happened to be over the day I threw the dress out. To say she was mortified would be an understatement. She climbed right into the dumpster and pulled the dress out, swearing at me the whole time; how could you? How dare you? This is so wrong mom! She said “this is going to be made into a dress for Shy” (her cousin who was about 9 and was going to be her flower girl). So, my very talented friend worked her magic and made this beautiful wedding dress into the most amazing flower girl dress and I am so happy that our daughter jumped in the dumpster that cleaning day and rescued the dress, but really, what was I thinking? I don’t really think I have an emotional attachment to a lot of “things”, although I’m sure my kids and family members would disagree. I know this because they always tell me that I need to declutter and simplify but I think I’m pretty good already at getting rid of stuff, so whenever they start I remind them about the wedding dress and the conversation is over. We have recently been making room upstairs for some more renovations so I have been cleaning out bins, going through pictures and throwing a ton of stuff away, we even got another dumpster, so I’m not going to listen to them when they tell me I hold on to stuff for too long!
Ok, I will admit that I do have an attachment to food in the cupboards which I think stems from a point in my childhood after my parents divorced and we didn’t have a lot of food in the cupboards. In fact, that was when my younger brother invented the “sauce sandwich”. Bread and mayo or bread and ketchup, we joke about it now but it had a lasting impression on me and I think I internally made a point to never have that happen if I could avoid it when I had my own home. The other reason I like to have my cupboards full is because I don’t want to decide to make something and find I don’t have the ingredients. The battle is real and is something I am consciously working on – I finally don’t feel the need to hoard food anymore and I now realize that if I need an ingredient, it’s not the end of the world and it will only take me 15 minutes (round trip) to run to town and grab it. Yay me!
This brings me to my current endeavor for cleaning up and letting go – the old Salt Spring Wall (SSW). The SSW has 34 photos on the wall together and there are another 6 larger photos hanging up elsewhere in the house. These photos were all taken by family or friends and each picture has a story or favorite memory for someone in the family. We were lucky to acquire the SSW when my in laws were ready to get rid of it, I felt that it would be nice to have these keepsakes that meant so much to all of the family but particularly my husband who has a lot of great memories about his time growing up on Salt Spring Island. When we put the wall up, my vision was for a beautiful display like the ones I see on Pinterest, you know the ones; symmetrical, balanced, and stunning to the eye, but it has never looked that way (and it never will if I am going to be honest). The photos are amazing, however I am ready to move to a different type of sentimental photo wall, possibly with some family pictures which I hope will help ease the blow for my husband and for me as well. Why do I want to get rid of it you ask? Every picture on the SSW is always crooked (when I had my tea leaves read last, she said it was my mom stopping in to say hi, well mom, you need to find another way to stop in because you are pissing me off!), sometimes the grandchildren jump on the couch or even just get rambunctious and the pictures fall off the wall leaving one of us to have to scramble behind the couch and retrieve the fallen pic. Don’t even get me going on the dustiness of the pictures – and when I dust them (which is rare), it is me that then knocks them on the ground or makes them even more crooked and I’m back to scrambling behind the couch to retrieve them.
At one point, I wanted to change the frames to all black – bad idea. Some of the photos were stuck to the glass because they have been in there for a hundred years, or the frames were rigged in such a way that I had to use pliers to try to get them out of the frame; let’s just say it was a disaster and I gave up before making any progress. So now, I am beyond ready to retire the wall and am looking forward to a fresh look in my living room. I just need to figure out what that fresh look will be, including paint colors. One thing I know for sure is that there won’t be 34 small pictures in the design.
During the process of us cleaning up and decluttering, I have come up with some reasons why it’s good to let go of things, whether it’s a dysfunctional relationship, a knick knack that you can’t even remember where you got it from, clothes that no longer fit or as in my case The Salt Spring Wall. Think about this when you have something you are holding on to and not willing to give it up. Are you holding on to it because you love it or would you feel guilty giving it up, therefore it is easier to hold on to it? Remember too that the thing you may need to let go of isn’t really a “thing” at all. It may be just a way that you behave, think, or a way that you are in general that isn’t serving you well anymore!
Some benefits of letting go:
- It allows you to make room for new positive experiences or feelings.
- Protection; whether it’s your feelings, personal safety or even your sanity.
- It allows you to refocus your energies on a new task, project, etc.
- It frees up your time to focus on what you love and enjoy.
- It allows you either the head space or the physical space to be creative.
- It can lower your stress levels. Having a cluttered space bombards our minds and senses with thoughts that aren’t necessary or important. Clutter also makes it difficult to relax, both mentally and physically.
- You will learn to appreciate and value other things in your life.
And, if you aren’t ready to declutter or let go, then step into the kitchen and make these amazing Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups! Only 4 ingredients and so decadent!
Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
3.5 ounces dark chocolate (divided) or 4 squares of baking chocolate
2 tablespoons +2 teaspoons coconut oil divided
1/4 cup crunchy all natural peanut butter
Pink Himalayan Course Salt or Course Sea Salt
- Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners or use chocolate molds
- Melt half of the chocolate in the microwave
- Add 1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil and mix until smooth
- With a small spoon, evenly distribute the melted chocolate in each muffin cup (be careful not to fill more than 1/3 full). Freeze for 15 minute
- Place the peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Stir well.
- Portion small spoonfuls of peanut butter on top of the chocolate layer. Freeze for 15 minutes or until it starts to harden.
- Melt the remaining chocolate. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and mix until smooth.
- Spoon the chocolate mixture over each peanut butter cup.
- Place the pan back in the freezer for 3-5 minutes, take out and sprinkle with whichever salt you choose.
- Return the pan to the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to a week!
“Get rid of clutter and you may just find that it was blocking the door you’ve been looking for” – Katrina Mayer, KatrinaMayer.com
Self-reflection is the first step to decluttering because it’s not about the stuff. ~Author unknown