The next category on my tidying list: “candles and aromatherapy/massage items.” For me, this was basically just CANDLES. Because my goodness, I have a lot of candles. (I have no aromatherapy products and exactly two massage related items: one head massage thingy and one back massage thingy-both keepers!) I mostly use candles to decorate, thus they are in every room in the house. There were also some in storage spaces. So gathering them all in one spot was super fun.
One of the things I’ve thought a lot about during this process is how to make cleaning days noticeably easier. I cannot change the square footage of our home, so vacuuming and swiffering are what they are. But cleaning off counter tops, tables and desks and dusting surfaces is such a pain. The more STUFF I have sitting out on these surfaces, the more time it takes to move things out of the way when cleaning.
I picked out the candles that bring me joy pretty quickly. The ones I kept not only smell good, but most of them are favorite decorations. Everything I let go of that was sitting out somewhere makes cleaning a little bit easier. Everything I let go of that was hidden in a drawer or cabinet wasn’t sparking joy. There was a package of like 100 tealights, for heaven’s sake. I also found a big unused package of citronella candles-and I sit out on our front porch A LOT. So I’m guessing we didn’t really need them. But the pink citronella candles made me feel happy, so I kept a few of those, and a few tealights. The rest went into my donation box.
I noticed that there was not a category in “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” for
Home Decor. I’m thinking like decorative vases or trinkets, lamps, and picture frames. I tried to make this an unofficial tidying session for stuff like that as well. I wasn’t going to unplug every lamp in my house and put it in a pile, but as I visited every room to collect candles, I looked at the decor with a critical eye. This is where I can decrease the time it takes to clean. Each trinket that serves no purpose other than to decorate, that I don’t absolutely love, goes.
With this mindset (and what I’ve done to this point), I am getting to a stage where I have empty storage containers and some small pieces of furniture that have nothing on them. How fun and refreshing! For a lot of that stuff, I am going to wait until I’m completely done with each category before getting rid of it–mostly because it may work better in a different part of the house. (For example, I have an empty storage container that I am saving for pantry day in case it fits in there to hold cat/dog food.)
I have loved feeling lighter and lighter as I go through things one by one and let things go. And each category that I finish and cross off the list just kind of eggs me on for the next one. I’m not in a rush to finish, (and there are some categories that I’m dreading, like tools) but I am still eager to get there.
As I reflect on this particular session, I am so, so thankful that I have such a fabulously supportive husband. Even though he doesn’t care which candles stay or go, he was in our home office working while I was clinking around on the floor making piles. At one point, he turned around and wanted to see which ones I decided to keep. The fact that he is somehow interested in this process (or does a REALLY good job of acting like it) just floors me most of the time. I am so thankful to be married to someone who not only knows my heart so well, but can find a way to be interested in things that mean a lot to me. *SWOON*
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
Up next: Medicines