Deactivation, and Decluttering

I deactivated my Facebook a little over a month ago. I haven’t really been all that active on that particular social media site for a long time, only posting sporadically. And I have long since unfollowed probably half of my Facebook friends, because they annoyed me, so my news feed essentially consists of memes posted by the friends I do still follow. Which, in my case, is about as far from interesting or entertaining as it gets.

I decided to deactivate the account for those, and other reasons. Essentially, I have grown tired of it, and it serves little to no real purpose for me anymore. I was pretty much only keeping it as a convenient way to arrange group gatherings, and to keep the page for The Elegant Fox open. But even that grew tiresome. On a busy schedule, it’s not easy to find time to sew and post something every day – or even every few days! And the constant reminders from Facebook, telling me to update the page because I hadn’t posted in five whole days, grew increasingly tiresome. I have to admit, not having that constant pressure to keep my followers updated has been a pleasant change of pace for me.

Most of my social media presence is via this blog, and my Instagram. I have a Goodreads account, but I find that’s less about social interaction, and more about sticking to my reading goal for the year. The truth is, I didn’t outright delete my Facebook account, in case it becomes of use again. In any case, I’ll need to reactivate it so I can keep up with the Fox. Assuming, that is, that I don’t follow through with my plan to simply let it lapse, and go back to taking commissions only when people ask. See, here’s the thing; I hate where I live, and I am no longer particularly fond of my job. I don’t want to spend any time on any other things that bring me no joy or serve little purpose. Facebook is one of those things. And to a degree, my small business venture is another.

I love sewing. I love creating things from nothing and wearing my handmade items with pride. I love learning new skills, and putting them into practice. But the business, if you can even call it that, is far from profitable. I’m thinking, instead of dealing with the pressure that comes with expectation, simply keeping the business name registered, but not trading publicly anymore. It is the kind of thing I need to dedicate more of my time to, and working full time isn’t really conducive to full time creation.

I’ve kind of reached this point, where I am sick of doing things for the purpose of keeping other people happy. Especially because it hasn’t really worked out all that well for me. On the contrary, I feel worn out and spread thin from all the trying. So I am going to slowly, but surely remove the things from my life that no longer serve a purpose. Like a big spring clean, only it’s the wrong season and I’m decluttering my life instead of my house. Though that will come later, when I move.

I think sometimes it’s good to take stock of our lives, and work out what things are holding us back, dragging us down, or making us unhappy. And then take steps to improve those things, or rid ourselves of them. Because what’s the point of being alive, if we don’t get to enjoy living? Forgive the cliche, but it makes sense, don’t you think?

Order in Chaos

I thrive on order and organisation. Both in my work life, and at my home, I like things to be tidy, and everything to be in its place. I have come to learn that living with someone else makes this difficult to achieve, and even more difficult to maintain. I lived on my own for over a year, and I loved it. I had a routine, I was able to do things my own way, and I could freely walk around naked without any fear of someone else seeing me. Though I do think I accidentally flashed the neighbour when I was getting changed one morning. But I digress.

I have always found tidying to be cathartic. I have a bizarre love of watching mess turn into order, and there is something calming about the end result. A neatly made bed, a tidy bench, and organised cupboard; all of these things bring me a kind of simple, and yet enormously rewarding satisfaction. Living with another person has taken some adjustment for me, because my housemate and I are very different people. I have to remember that my space isn’t just my space anymore; it is an area that we both share and occupy. So with no sewing room to speak of, my bedroom has become my space. It is the one part of the house that is just for me.

When I first moved into the new place, I spent two days sorting through my belongings, setting up the bedroom and finding homes for all the stuff I have managed to accumulate over the years. Over the last two months, on the rare days I get off, I am either too busy to clean or driving two hours back home for some reason or other. (I think I’ve been in my hometown more since I moved than I was when I lived there!). So today, after doing a few things, I returned home and finally got around to tidying up my space.

For the first time in my entire life, I have no cupboards. My housemate has the only room with wardrobes, so I had to settle for buying a cheap hanging rack from K-Mart. It’s awful. It is a flimsy, wonky rack made of cheap metal and plastic, and it depresses me every time I look at it. It makes my bedroom seem cluttered and small, it is untidy and frankly, it’s just plain ugly. So today I went to Ikea and picked out the perfect little cupboard with doors and shelves and a hanging rack, and would have purchased it on the spot if it had have fit in my little car. As it is, it did not fit and so for the time being, I am stuck with the ugly rack. However as soon as I can organise delivery, you can bet your butt I’ll be buying it.

Behold, the hideousness.

However I did not leave empty handed. (Ikea, where have you been all my life?) I purchased some curtains for my window, which up until now has been covered by an unused sheet. This was unappealing on two levels. First of all, it looks cheap and nasty. There’s nothing more tacky than a window with an improper cover. And secondly, it meant I had no natural light. I am one of those people who likes to open her curtains and let the natural light in. Especially considering I spend most of my time working in a shop that is situated below street level, and so weather has lost all meaning for me. The addition of proper curtains in my bedroom just makes the whole place feel more open and bright, and therefore a much happier environment for this little neat freak to be in. Now add all of this to a freshly made bed and new throw rug, and suddenly the untidy mess that was my bedroom has been transformed into a pleasant environment that I am happy to do more in than just sleep.

Even just looking at this is calming.

At a time in my life when everything seems to be complicated and troublesome and in large part, downright depressing, it is the small joys that make getting up more bearable. And for me, having a tidy space makes an enormous difference to my state of mind. Maybe now home will start to feel more like…well, home.

Cathartic Cleaning

Life can be a very cluttered affair. Over the years, you collect things and hoard things until you look around and realise that you’re suffocating under the weight of all the…things. I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like the mess and clutter in my life is starting to overwhelm me. So today I decided to take on the cathartic task of cleaning.

I started with my car. A tiny little ’86 Ford Laser I have affectionately dubbed Edie, my car is never dirty but lately it has been untidy. Crumbs on the floor from food my friends have eaten, packaging from the air freshener, random bits and bobs and an incredible amount of dust. Today I cleaned out the rubbish, vacuumed the floor and seats, sprayed the fabric with a carpet deodoriser and wiped down the dashboard with a cloth. And as soon as I’d finished, I felt better. Like a subconscious anxiety had eased. From there, it was time to tackle the bedroom.

A few months ago I moved from the tiny bedroom I have lived in for 19 or so years into the bigger bedroom that has gone unused since my brothers moved out/stopped visiting every second weekend. Though I have little floor space due to the bed, I somehow manage to accumulate an excess of crap that somehow ends up on my floor, on my side tables, on my dresser…any flat surface basically. I got rid of about six pairs of shoes I don’t wear, emptied the bin (after I had filled it of course), rearranged anything that I wasn’t throwing out, dusted, vacuumed and made my bed. And once again, that sense of calm and ease washed over me.

It’s funny how just tidying up a few things can make a difference to your mental state. Tomorrow I’m going to take on the back room, and after that, I’m thinking it’s time to start decluttering the harder things, and getting rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose. Like the pointless relationships that I’ve been clinging to. The emotional baggage I can’t seem to let go of. The fears that have the potential to cripple me. The unattainable dreams that are unlikely to ever become reality. It’s time to throw away all the junk I have accumulated, both material and emotional, and start fresh.

Wish me luck.