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Decluttering for the soul

I’m no Marie Kondo, but I love a good decluttering. We live in a three-bedroom apartment and our third bedroom has become our storage room. The kind of room that whenever you don’t know where to place something, it just goes there. On the floor, on a chair, stuffed into the lower exploding shelf of a closet. It’s where the clean laundry goes (and stays), the pizza oven is stored, important documents and my endless array of sentimental things that I can’t (and won’t) let go of.

Believe me, we’ve tried making sense of that room by organizing it a bit better or taking bags of clutter to my in-laws' basement that they kindly accept. But no matter what, when guests come over, that door stays shut. Zvi once walked into that room, let out a loud yelp and walked out. “Did you see a bug?” I yelled out. “No. I just can’t look at that room anymore,” he sighed. He’s more organized than me and the sight of it instantly increased his stress levels.

So, I decided to tackle this black hole of a room as one of my maternity leave projects. Now, I have a history with decluttering. If I get into a decluttering mood, it’s not a decluttering spree, it’s more of a decluttering rage. Usually with clothes. Because, like I said, I refuse to part ways with the sentimental stuff. One Friday last year, while Zvi was at work, I went through my closet and gathered up five bags of clothing for donation. We were trying to conceive at the time and I kept feeling like I needed a clear headspace to deal with the natural frustrations of trying. I didn’t hold back. Maternity clothes from my first pregnancy that I had held on to: Gone! Anything I hadn’t worn in the last 6 months: Gone! Shoes barely worn? Gone! I filled bag after bag and I could literally feel my mental load decrease. Satisfied, I sat down and wrote a blog post for the first time in nearly a year. The words just flowed, I felt free.

Zvi came home and looked around wide eyed. “Are you sure you want to get rid of all this stuff?” He asked, carefully stepping over the lineup of bags in the hallway.

“Positive.” I said.

“Uh, huh.” He muttered. But within minutes he came out of our room with three full bags of his own. And off we went to the donation bin with eight bags of clothes.

That month I got pregnant. I have zero scientific proof that it helped, but decluttering quickly went up my list of favorite things to do. (As for all the maternity clothes I now needed, my best friend lent me).

So when I walked into our storage room-bedroom with the intention of turning it into a nursery, I was excited. So excited that I grabbed every item from the shelves, off the desk, chair(s) and cabinet and chucked it into a gigantic pile in the center of the room. I figured that, this way, I’d be able to chip away slowly at the endless clothes, books, boxes of loose photos, birthday cards, old journals and everything in between. But as soon as I finished dumping everything in my sight onto the floor, I immediately went from feeling extremely productive to ridiculously overwhelmed, so much so that I walked out and decided to deal with it all the next day. You can imagine the look of horror on Zvi’s face when he came home from work that night. If he hadn’t been able to stand the sight of that room before, he now physically couldn’t step into it. “Don’t worry, I have a plan.” I lied. “Right.” He said, unconvinced. He knows me well. Organization is not my strong suit.

But honestly, I was sure that the whole mess would take me just a couple of days to deal with. I’m laughing now as I write this because what ended up transpiring over the weeks that followed was a far cry from a quick fix. I ended up sitting in my sentimental landfill for days on end, taking a trip down memory lane like never before and acquiring a pinterest bookshelf obsession to the point that Zvi genuinely started worrying about me.

It’s all too much to sum up in one blog post. So part 2 is coming soon.

Till next time!



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