Speak Eagle

Out With the Old, In With the New

On the morning of my third son’s 8th birthday, he was determined to get rid of the old to make room for the new. It was a painful process, fraught with stops and starts, tenacity and even…blood. Eek!

But then, for many of us, the process of getting rid of the old to make room for the new is just that painful. For me, the word Painful is synonymous with Declutter.

It’s not that I like clutter. Clutter likes me. It follows me everywhere. And I hate it.

photo-15Oh, but I also like it. I like the frugal feeling I get when I save a battery because it might still have a little charge left. I like the clothes in my closet I might wear someday, the broken lampshade with the pretty fabric I can’t part with, and the bin of old AC adaptors that could come in handy. If I got rid of them, WHAT IF I REGRETTED IT?

However, I know the truth. The honest truth. Our unused stuff is not only cluttering our houses, it’s choking our minds, tethering our feet. And it’s hard to walk ahead to the new when our feet are mired in the old.

So, my friends, this is our year. That collection of who-knows-what stuff on top of the dryer (including the pretty useless lampshade), photo-14that closet floor whose would-be-useful space is taken up with boxes of random knick-nacks, old papers, and mementos. It all has to find a place, be given away or tossed.  Especially tossed.

And with each material item we toss, perhaps we also toss our other clutter, too- like old grudges, bad habits, and negative thoughts.  They all need to go.  No matter how painful.

Kind of like a loose tooth. One friend offered her son ten dollars to pull out his tooth that had been hanging off his gums for weeks. TEN smackeroos! But he refused the offer. Too scary. No thank you.

At some point, however, when we want the new bad enough, we are willing to do whatever it takes to pull out the old and get rid of it. Even if it’s painful.

So…the morning of his 8th birthday, my little guy worked hard.  Don’t worry, I’ve spared you the many minutes of wrenching, cracking, and grimacing pain.  But I did want to give you my favorite snippets of my son as he fights to get rid of the old and emerges- VICTORIOUS!

(If you’re determined to get rid of the old to make room for the new this year, leave a comment.  It would encourage me. Because today, it has been way more fun to write about decluttering and edit a video than it will be to actually declutter.  Ha!)

7 thoughts on “Out With the Old, In With the New”

  1. You had me at the A/C adapters. I have a huge box. Although I have spent hours looking through them, I have only ever found one that I could use. The collection keeps growing with each new cell phone, router, hard drive, etc.

    I finally got rid of my old ice fishing gear and x country skis after only 25 years in TN. I painfully parted with my competition water ski eight years after my back surgery complications. I kept praying for a miracle. Heidi, you have motivated me to think about getting rid of the old to make room for the new. If it would only warm up a bit before the motivation runs out…

    1. I can totally imagine you have a box of adaptors! That’s really hilarious you have only ever found ONE you could use out of that huge box. I’m laughing about the ice fishing gear and skis- it seriously is PAINFUL to get rid of stuff like that because it’s not just STUFF- it represents an era or a dream. Yes, I’m all about stalling until warmer weather! However, I might drown in my clutter before then and never make it to spring! Ha! Take a small bite of the elephant today. I’m tackling a stack of papers in my kitchen. Bite by bite you can eat the elephant 🙂

  2. Heidi I am salute Lee love reading your blog post I’m so glad that Brian shares them with us. Let me encourage you decluttering while it is hard is so freeing so don’t think just do it! It has been my process this entire past year and will continue into this year. One step at a time and as you clear each space you’ll be energized. Happy decluttering!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Janeen! I need every bit of it. Wow- good for you doing it for a whole year! I suppose after you do it so long it becomes a way of life and then we never again drown in our clutter. Perhaps cluttering and decluttering are just habits after all. Yes, one step at a time. Thanks!

    2. By the way, Janeen, you can get each of my blog posts as an email in your Inbox by filling in your email address on the right hand side of my blog on my website. That way you don’t have to rely on Brian’s Facebook posts 🙂

  3. I’m doing the same thing – and just finished up with our bedroom. I liken the process to kamikaze skiing – which is my first experience when I realized that I had made the decision to go somewhere probably steeper than I was practiced for, but that if I didn’t turn my brain OFF and just go with the decision to go downhill, I would fare even worse than if I thought about each move on the way.
    “Stop thinking!” I tell myself when I go to clean anything out “and just jump in and DO IT.” If I can manage the downhill ride without putting any thought into it, I can get things thrown away and donated. But the first time I turn on my brain and think “you know…. This could come in handy…” It’s all over and I’m up to my eyeballs in a tangle of skis, poles and snow – or that mountain of stuff that I just removed from all the bins and drawers.
    It’s gotta be kamikaze or nothing. 🙂

    1. I’m totally laughing, Amanda! Love the parallel with the kamikaze skiing! I can picture the whole thing. Perfect!

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