As much as I've complained about being a single mom from the get-go, or about Deadbeatdad jumping ship the second we found out I was pregnant, I've come to realize that Sol and I have a pretty sweet deal. As long as we can find someone who wants the package deal, who's willing to love both me and my daughter, our situation is surprisingly clean and simple. There is no biological father to add drama to our lives, I will never know the frustrations of coparenting, and Sol will be raised exactly how I want her to be raised. Very few single moms get a clean, fresh start like mine.
Clean break, clean slate, clean life.
I can move on. And move on I will.
Along with my proverbial clean slate, I'm getting the urge to purge. If you know me well, if you really know me, you know why I don't want to be a hoarder. So I'm going through everything I own -- everything -- and tossing the non-necessities. I'm working on breaking silly emotional ties to things that have been packed up in boxes for years and years. Yesterday was New Year's Day, so of course I spent it going through my closet, going through my basement, and making those fabulous little piles of "keep it," "toss it," "donate it," "what the H were you thinking???"
Clothes: remove anything that doesn't fit, or anything that stayed on the hanger for the duration of 2012. If it's too big, you don't want it [why give yourself the option of fitting into a larger size??]. If it's too small, get rid of it. Sentimental clothes: seriously, is there such a thing? No, Melanie, you don't need the "I Blame Canada" T-shirt you bought in 2004. It was funny when you were a sophomore in high school. It's not quite so entertaining anymore.
Documents, items, souvenirs, etc: get rid of anything that's not vital to your existence. No, Melanie, you don't need the snowglobe that sings 'When Irish Eyes are Smiling.' Nor do you need your binder from Mrs. Vosler's 10th grade World History class. When you're getting rid of an old possession, keep in mind that you're losing the item, not the memory itself. You don't need the physical ticket from that Backstreet Boys concert in 1998 to prove that you went; in fact, here's hoping you won't EVER have to prove your attendance. What's worse, for some reason I also hang onto things that bring me down. Nothing brings negative energy into your life like holding onto something that evokes negative memories. Yes, Melanie, you can get rid of that Valentine's Day card from a past idiot.
I made good progress. Boxed up tons of clothes and shoes to get rid of [an embarrassing amount, actually], tossed old mail that serves no purpose, threw out useless old empty boxes. And I already feel better.
So here's my plan:
- One-in, one-out: when I bring something into the house, something goes out. If I buy a new shirt, I donate one. If Sol gets a new toy, I get rid of an old toy. Seems easy.
- Donate often: keep a bag in a closet - specifically for items to donate. When it gets full, drop it off at a donation center.
- Don't shop: [ouch.] But seriously, don't shop just to shop.
- Go paperless: convert all bills to paperless billing.
- Make a gift list: keep a running list of items I would like to get as a gift (for birthdays, Christmas, etc.). Instead of going out and buying something when I think of it, I'll put it on my list. And I'll be patient.
- Don't plan to be broke: I won't hang on to something "just in case I need it someday." If I can't pinpoint a time in the next year when I'll need it, I'll get rid of it. If I do need one in the future, I'll buy one then.
- Ask good questions like these on a regular basis to help minimize clutter.
Clean slate. Bring it. Clutter is heavy and unhealthy. I'm going to get rid of my silly baggage [literal and metaphorical] and move forward into a stellar 2013. Resolve THAT.