I have a dirty little secret. There is a room in our home that escaped the rampage of purging and downsizing undertaken over the past two years. It’s a room with sentimental clutter, outdated files and memories of a past I wasn’t ready to let go.
The home office.
We’ve decided to turn the space into a media room for our two sons since we no longer use the room. Deciding to repurpose the space has meant that everything now occupying the space needs cleared out. Everything. Wow.
The extra bedroom we turned into a home office over a decade ago was/is a constant source of stress for me. There is just. So. Much. Stuff.
Two large desks, a book case, memorabilia, two large filing cabinets and a closet full of I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-these things. I used the office in my prior (non-minimalist) life. As I tackle the space now, it’s both overwhelming and irritating. I can’t stop wondering how I accumulated all of this excess.
I mean, did I really need to keep every single college syllabus for every college course I took? Do I need every grade school yearbook? When exactly was I planning to wear my high school and college caps and gowns? If I’m not wearing a coat anymore, why is it hanging in the office closet? Do I plan to wear my wedding dress again? And why, oh why, did I keep so many bank statements, pay stubs and owners manuals?
You get the point.
These are the questions I asked myself as I spent the holidays sorting through the piles and piles of things I need to get rid of. Bags of papers need shredded, valuables, desks and filing cabinets need sold and clothes and coats have been donated.
The below photos were taken after two solid days of sorting and purging. I wish I would have taken some photos at the beginning, but I didn’t. You’ll just have to use your imagination.
As I go through the process of purging, I am reminded of why I choose to live without excess wherever possible. Sure, we can ignore the overload of stuff for awhile. But eventually, we have to deal with it.
We may move, or need the space for another purpose. Or we may just get sick of the attention the life-sucking clutter pulls from us. No matter the reason, the excess will have to be dealt with at some point. If not by us, then by whoever has the misfortune to handle our estate when we’re gone.
Is there a space you’ve been procrastinating clearing out? If so, what holds you back?