Kicking Clutter to the Curb

January 4th, 2010

There is such a thing as The Clutter Monster.  He is real, and he used to live in my house.

The Clutter Monster broke into my house sometime last year, and made himself right at home. At first I didn’t mind.  He’d leave a pair of socks here, or a few papers there – nothing to get too worked up about.  I was so distracted with my projects and this blog and my job and helping my kids with their schoolwork that I didn’t realize how this new roommate, The Clutter Monster, had really impacted my life.

Every night as I lie sleeping, he began to wreak havoc on my home, leaving his piles of unorganized stuff everywhere.  The clothing, the papers, the toys steadily amassed all over the house.  There was that moment when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I replied “To kick out the Clutter Monster.”

I finally realized over the holiday break that any time I was feeling a sense of anxiety in my life, it was because I was overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” in my home that I was forced to take care of.  There were many days I would literally throw my hands up in frustration.pb with text

Then I had an epiphany.

I thought to myself, what if those piles didn’t exist?  What if “poof”  they magically disappeared?

Was there anything in those piles that was so necessary I’d miss it if it was gone?  Would I really care ?  Were those things really all that important ?

The obvious answer was “No”.

I realized how relaxed I am when there is order, and how much anxiety I feel when there are excessive piles of laundry, paperwork, or toys lying around.   Clothes I didn’t wear, papers I didn’t need, and toys that were broken or never played with.  I decided that the feeling of serenity from having all that “stuff” disappear was far more desirable than the “stuff” itself.

So I decided to kick the Clutter Monster to the curb once and for all.  I decided I wouldn’t start any more projects until every last room was returned to order.  I’ve been dedicated to this task for over a week, and along the way l’ve learned a few things.

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When It Rains, We Pour !

January 2nd, 2010

In Wine Country, winter is certainly the slowest season.  After all, we get our fair share of rain around here in January.  To some, it can be dreary, but we never let that get us down.  On the contrary, when it rains in Wine Country, we pour a lot of great wine.   Sssh, don’t tell anyone, but it’s really rather nice.  The crowds are gone and it’s just us locals. 

One of our two favorite places to spend a rainy afternoon is the Sonoma Wine Shop, run by our friends Ken and Bryan. The Sonoma Wine Shop is located in the heart of the square on the west side of the Historic Sonoma Plaza.

sws front

At SWS, you can taste rare vintages from boutique wineries (producers who make only a few hundred cases or less).  Mr. CG is a member here and often pops in to sample the latest arrivals.  SWS is a place where we take all of our out of town guests. 

mr cg at sws

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Do You Scrap ?

January 1st, 2010

In our family, we sure do like to relax for those first few days after Christmas.  We eat a lot of cookies.  We veg in front of the TV watching movies and reruns.  We sing along to Christmas music and often rewrite the lyrics with unsuitable words.  We play with our new gadgets.  We sleep until 9 a.m. and rarely change out of our garish reindeer pajamas. 

Then lightening strikes around 6:55 a.m. on December 29th.

On that day, at 7:30 a.m., and after half of a pot of coffee, I become completely possessed.  I discard and recycle everything disposable in sight with wild and reckless abandon.  Stash, store, clean, go go go !   I’m a woman on a mission and I cannot be stopped !

Finally, three days later, the decorations are stored, the pine needles are vacuumed, and the dried out fried-to-a-crisp greenery is disposed of in the proper receptacle. 

Yet when it comes to the storing or stashing, disposing or recycling of Christmas cards, I hesitate.  For me, Christmas cards have real sentimental value.  album cover

Years ago, when I was first married, I began filing the best of those holiday cards in an oversized scrapbook.   

We receive a medley of greetings year after year, from the elegant cardstock of William Arthur, to the corny mass printed letters from witty relatives.

Many folks spend hours cataloguing their lives, and simply I cannot bear to part with any of these mementoes, especially if they contain photographs. 

Cause I get all gushy and mushy when it comes to sweet holiday pictures of families.

And how funny to document in this treasure of a scrapbook that we’ve received the very same card from 100 year old Grandma Verna for three years straight.   We’re pretty sure she doesn’t even know it. 

Now that’s priceless.

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