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Archive for September 14th, 2012

In Search of Ease

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Changes

Autumn is sneaking up on us here in Lansing. The trees are changing color in tiny bits here and there. We are getting more rain. The biggest thing I notice is how chilly it gets at night. I need to close the doors at sundown or it’s too cold inside.

What I’m noticing is that when we all go inside more, we start noticing what in our homes doesn’t work. All around me, friends are talking about de-cluttering or letting go in its many guises.

Letting Go

I’m fighting closet clutter yet again. Clothing is wonderful stuff to me. Each piece can be an artform itself. In addition, putting things together is an artform I call costuming (even if you’re just going out for tea or shopping).

I get sentimental about clothing. I know I’m not the only person who does. Right now I have so many clothes on my three clothing racks that things are wrinkling each other on the hangers. This just doesn’t work.

In my house, I find that most things do indeed have an assigned place. The “A place for everything and everything in its place” idea goes awry because I have too many things to fit in the assigned place.

Non-Narnian Wardrobe Management

Buying more hangers doesn’t make a closet bigger! Ironically, I think I tried that idea first. In the absence of a wardrobe out of Narnia (bigger inside than out), I need to “get real.”

When I look at what I have, one item at a time, I don’t want to let go of much. The idea of taking everything off a rack and then only putting things back that I adore and use sounds sane and tempting.

Then What?

But then, what would I do with the scrumptious sweaters that have the wrong silhouette, and the work shirt I embroidered in 1976? What about the amazing Hawaiian dresses and African dresses I have which either need alterations or don’t have places to wear?

Can I bear to let them go? Can I store them somewhere other than the closet? If so, where?

Mind you, the real goal is to make living in this house more at ease. I love the word Ease. It seems such a sane goal. A reasonable goal.

Discipline can Create Ease

Cairene MacDonald of Third Hand Works is an expert on the benefits of discipline. She says this-

Here’s what discipline is really all about:

  1. Creating conditions that bring out your best self.
  2. Having a clear sense of purpose.
  3. Being willing to be uncomfortable.

I want to create ease, by choosing the sorts of discipline I need and value. I want a clear sense of purpose. My purpose, for today, is Ease… in finding things, having clothing not be wrinkled when I pull it out, being able to put garments away without having to fight with both hands to fit it on a rack.

Are you going indoors more now, too? Finding a struggle against your own environment? In search of physical ease in your space?

I wrote a blog a while back, on how I had to take a photograph of a well-used suit before I could let it go. I re-learned some things about my process by reading it again today. It’s here: A Letting Go Experience

Also, if you are interested in pursuing this journey with some other like-minded folks, I have a Facebook group called Toss-It Tuesdays (if you are into Facebook). It’s small and friendly. I need to approve people before they can post, but I get to people pretty quickly. I’d love to have you join us.

Are you going through any letting go? What tricks do you engage to help yourself through the process?