The bearable lightness of decluttering


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Windsor Park

Over the years I’ve tried many strategies to combat the winter blues – from exploring new outdoor activities, such as cross-country skiing and skating, to focusing on personal growth and development pursuits such as meditation and journaling. While all of these are worthwhile pastimes, I often find myself struggling this time of year. Not surprisingly, this seasonal anxiety has only intensified over the last few years, when the pandemic made everything seem scary and uncertain.

But for some reason, this winter feels different. True, there is still a great deal of global upheaval, and we are experiencing unprecedented inflation rates, but I now feel a calm sense of inner peace that I haven’t felt for many years. And there is only one thing I can think of that is different this year.

And it involves decluttering.


Decluttering can be a freeing experience.

I wish I could say that I finally found the inner motivation to tackle my hordes of thrifted treasures, craft supplies, and collectibles that I’ve accumulated over the past decade or so, but the truth is I really didn’t have an incentive to do so until we had the opportunity for an extended family member to come live with us. But, in order for that to happen, I needed to clear out the extra bedroom that had previously served as my home office (realistically, it had been operating as my personal storage area for the past few years).

So, I rolled up my sleeves, gathered garbage bags and cardboard boxes, and got to work sorting between the junk that could be thrown out and stuff that was still useful for donation or to give away. At first, this was a really daunting task as I had severely underestimated the amount of ‘stuff’ I had accumulated. But with every item that was cleared away I found myself feeling lighter and lighter. In fact, even though this recent work is a noted departure from my usual January cycle of lethargy and fatigue, I’ve felt happier and more hopeful than I’ve felt in a long time.

And now that our newest member of the household has moved in, I may not have as much stuff as I once had, but I can truly say that I have never felt richer or more blessed.

Heather Innis

Heather Innis
Windsor Park community correspondent

Heather Innis is a community correspondent for Windsor Park.

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