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The door is round and open

Project Empty is sweeping the planet! I got the idea from avventura1234, who lent me her feng shui book and encouraged me to take the "thin-slice" approach. Now roseambr is doing it, and altariel has likewise reported catching the bug.

Me, I used my weekend to clear three more clutter areas. I keep noticing new hoards, and subdividing known ones, so that from 66 total areas, I'm up to 79. Thirty-four of them are now clutter-free.



Inspired by roseambr, I tackled my pantry cupboard. Stuff that went bye-bye included
  • A bottle of powdered peri-peri (an African hot chile) that I've had since before I could look it up on the internet and see what it actually was
  • A Scottish cookbook - don't get me wrong, I love a lot of Scottish dishes, but this cookbook was crap
  • A Cap 'Em Quik--a device for making up your own herbal capsules. I must have been into that at one time.
  • Instruction manuals for two kitchen machines that I got rid of in the last go-round of clearing
  • My beloved 20-year old Cuisinart, whose motor is still going strong but which, for want of a tiny nylon replacement part, is now useless *sadness*
  • Three wooden cases containing flat drawers of little porcelain cups (some kind of lab equipment that I was just sure would be useful for something someday because it was so cool, but which had, in fact, been serving as surfaces for other stuff for at least ten years)

You get the idea. And this is not to mention the bags, boxes, cans and jars of foodstuffs that I will never consume and that I should never have bought.

A little before-and-after. I gotta tell you, these pictures make me really happy:


Kitchen


Living Room


If I had to single out the greatest benefit of Project Empty so far, it would be the doorways. Three of the doors in my house--including the front door--have been partially blocked for years, one with coats on a hook that prevented the door from opening all the way, one with a bookcase protruding four or five inches into the opening, and one with a curio cabinet behind it. In each instance, I thought I was cleverly maximizing storage space in a tiny house.

My new solution is to minimize the crap that needs storing. Suddenly I can pass freely through all three doorways without bumping into anything, without having to turn a little sideways, without manuevering the tea tray to spare my knuckles on the doorframe.

It doesn't sound like much, but it's huge. I didn't realize how much energy I was wasting on sheer sidestepping--not to mention on negative thoughts about my fat ass--until I stopped doing it.



Next up: finding the courage to tackle the really fossilized hoard-o'-crap in my bedroom. Stay tuned...

ETA: Wow! Take a look at what avventura1234 has cleared! I was there for part of it, so I know it's an amazing achievement, but the pictures are really, really cool. Like, HGTV cool.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
altariel
Feb. 11th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
Yes, those pictures make me feel happy too :-)
emeraldsedai
Feb. 11th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
The photos were avventura1234's idea, and I was very resistant to it at first. Now I'm delighted!

As satisfying as the "after" pictures are, though, they do shout out what still needs doing: repainting, reupholstering, floor refinishing, and on and on.

But the mental clarity that's resulting from the decluttering is leaving plenty of resources for facing those more sophisticated projects one at a time.
owzers
Feb. 11th, 2008 08:57 am (UTC)
okay - you've sold me on it!! I've been ruthlessly throwing crap out or bringing it to work and giving the good stuff away and it's like taking a dump after being constipated for days! This rocks! *hugs you with clutter-free arms*
emeraldsedai
Feb. 11th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

*twirls mustache evilly, gathers another minion into The Cult of The Empty Room*

The constipation analogy can be quite literal, according to Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui!

And I've given a lot of thought to that section of The Secret that talks about how our living space is a projection of our unconscious beliefs about our bodies and our selves. There really is a lot to the idea that we extend our energy out into our immediate environment, and nowhere more concretely than in our nests (cars, too).

Edited at 2008-02-11 08:45 pm (UTC)
roseambr
Feb. 11th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
You continue to amaze and impress me. I love the progress you have made and I love that you have brought so many of us into this project with you and your sis. I just peaked at avventura1234 latest post and was blown completely away. All of your progress really points out to me the importance of going even deeper than I have so far. I looked at my pantry when I got home today and realized I had completely missed one basket. Which means I probably could clear out even more than I have so far. It's like leaving that last ten pounds saying "it's good enough" when it isn't. Thanks for the motivation.
emeraldsedai
Feb. 11th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Layers. It's all about the layers.

I'm working very hard to accept as "good enough" the clearing of a first layer, while not resigning myself to that being the whole job. Every bit helps. Even if my commitment lags before all areas are clear, the gains are permanent, because my thinking is changing. It seems very unlikely that I'll ever get back up to the degree of clutter I've just finished clearing in my living room. Past experience corroborates this: clutter is a problem that has steadily diminished over my adult life.

The inspiration has been two-way in every case. It's exciting to share this work!
karen_jk
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
I like the second living room picture SO much better! Wow.

I am hoping to get started on this myself, a bit at a time. Slices, like you said.

I feel sad that you insult your own body so much, though. Sorry you feel so self-conscious about parts of you. I happen to have a small, boyish ass...so I obsess about my spare tire.
emeraldsedai
Jun. 20th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
One of the most amazing effects of Project Empty was to alter my perception of my own body in space. It didn't magically make me lose a bunch of weight or anything, but it was as if there was finally room for self-acceptance.

Truly one of the most powerful things I've ever done was decluttering my house.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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