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Less is More

April 20, 2015

This time of the year — you know the whole “April showers bring May flowers” bid — makes me want to declutter. Spring definitely brings about a feeling of renewal, and what better way for all of us to declutter our unwanted items that quickly become unwanted junk by throwing them out or donating? I suppose I have been on a crusade in my house for the past three weekends in a row, and I am not done yet with my war on clutter.

It all started a few weeks ago when I decided to do my annual clothes closet clean-out in an effort to donate many of these items to a worthy cause, like the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Hope Convergence House and Goodwill. I literally went shopping in my own closet, because I stumbled across dresses and slacks that had never been worn with the tags still on them! Needless to say, not only was I able to donate, but I was able to go shopping without leaving my house. After I donated the items, I instantly felt lighter, as if a small weight had been removed from my chest. My home felt lighter and so did the general flow of my work week, for that matter. Less stagnate energy . . . more productivity.

The second weekend, I tackled the tedious task of my infamous shoe closet. Everyone has at least one vice, and yes, you guessed it: I am suffering from a shoe addiction that is not very pretty. Countless and countless boxes of shoes, sandals, and boots that one person cannot possibly wear  all in one season. As I found it hard to throw some of them out or bag them for donation, I managed to do it, and I started to feel even more liberated. Some of the sandals were almost identical to another pair in color or style, and I just found this ridiculous.

I was actually ashamed that I did not know where the focus of my mind had been to be this redundant and wasteful. It made me stop and think of the person that has no shoes at all, or maybe only has one pair, and here I am, having a life crisis over bronze or gold sandals. Which do I wear today? Lord love me! I bagged up over 12 pairs of shoes and sandals that I knew I was not going to wear, so why let them continue to sit in my closet taking up space and being non-productive? Who was I trying to impress with all of this accumulation of things? As I drove into the donation center and the clerk took my bag, I felt like he had ripped a two ton monkey right off of my back. My addiction to shoes is less, and I now make room for only what is truly needed.

The third weekend, I literally had to dig through a mountain of paperwork on my desk in my office. I mean, I had receipts, old tax returns, car service proposals, old school papers, bank statements, mortgage slips, travel documentation, home repair requisitions, invitations, cancellations . . . the list just went on and on and on! As I gingerly went over every little slip of paper and filed it accordingly or shredded it, my brain actually erased a portion of its data to be cleared for other things now. Less paper, more peace of mind and organization. Less really is sooo much more.

Sonya Marie Bowman is a writer of positive prose for The Milwaukee Community Journal and a published co-author of the book No Artificial Ingredients – Reflections Unplugged. She is a member of Sister Speak, a trilogy of writers who formed in 2010 with a vision of self-expression and a goal of healing. The trio states they are inspired by grace, allowing them to take a genuine position on the struggles and successes of everyday living.

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