Clearing clutter

"Out of clutter, find simplicity" 
       - Albert Einstein

The long overdue de-cluttering of my studio office has begun. I have kindly been calling this my store room (read "junk room"). 

This room houses a lifetime of collected stuff - permaculture workshop resources, an incredible library of permaculture-related books, documentation of permaculture projects, rolls and rolls of permaculture design plans, filing cabinets full of pre-google references and articles, sentimental items from permaculture adventures overseas as well as my childhood. There are favourite old clothes, boxes of fabrics waiting to be sewn, collections of music CDs and tapes for which I no longer have the technology to play, high school assignments and reports…

Out of sight, out of mind - it could just be an excuse, or justification, but this room got out of hand because it is too far out of earshot of my young family. Too far for me to be away working, too far to be away cleaning. Since my eldest was born, my computer relocated to my kitchen bench. Now, perhaps the kids are old enough for me to find my independent workspace again. 

A couple of years ago, my Mum and Dad brought up a carful of boxes from my childhood home in Melbourne - full of books, assignments, clothes, photos and memorabilia. They were doing their big clear-out. I was so thankful for this delivery, but overwhelmed too - so much that it has sat there in my studio all this time hidden under a cloth restricting access my lovely library. 

I dream of this space being my writing retreat, book nook, homeschool classroom, permaculture workshop teaching space, yoga space, meditation area, and much more. It's a quiet space I designed to be separate from the house but connected by a walkway. Right now however, there is just way too much chaos and disorder for these ideas to come alive. Somewhere under the boxes is a lovely big room with polished timber floors, light and airiness.

This room is also filled with the love that goes into an owner-builder's first project. This is the first structure Evan and I ever built. Before this we’d only made coffee tables and wood-carvings. We were amazed that it worked so well. I’m so glad we began with a small achievable project. Starting I think on the main house would have been too daunting.

Looking out from my desk in there I can forget the clutter behind. I love looking through the large timber windows my dad made. The spaciousness and nature looking out from this room is calming and mind-freeing. I can see our garden and the chickens scratching around. I can also see down to the lake, across to the national park and up the Mary Valley - a lovely outlook. eing in the space but I can no longer ignore the chaos around me.

I feel so sad that I have let it get so filled with ‘stuff’. It weighs on me and I know I will feel so much lighter when I am free of this clutter and accumulation of a lifetime.  It’s going to take me a long time to sort through - paper by paper, box by box - which is why I have resisted starting it. Meanwhile new boxes of workshop resources keep arriving, new books join the library, and new design plans join the collection of plan tubes.

Today I plucked up the courage and made time to start working my way through these boxes - slowly but surely. I am determined to do a little bit each day until I clear the space - hoping this way I won’t be too overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.

Step 1: Begin it now - today.
Step 2: Continue each day with a manageable amount.
Step 3: Breathe and enjoy the freedom of relinquishing 'stuff' and simplifying!

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