Friday, January 01, 2010

A Clutterless 2010?-January 1

My cookie cutters are causing me problems. Why? Because 2010 is about to arrive, and I’m determined to get rid of a few more things in my household. But each time I think about giving the cookie cutters away, memories surface of sticky little hands, smiles outlined by frosting and sprinkles, surrounded by the scent of vanilla.

In 2010, I’m on a quest again—a quest to let go of things that will break, rust, or crumble and to embrace my family and others, the real memory makers. I’m on a quest to make Jesus’ words a reality in my life, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

This New Year, some have simply resolved to not make any resolutions. But many of us recognize the slower winter months as a time to tackle problems, a time to practice and ingrain better habits. Whether you choose to live a simpler life, eat healthier foods, exercise more, or confront an addiction, they can be productive months. Find an accountability partner to help you succeed.

Back to my main project for these next few months, we moved into smaller living quarters last year. Downsized. We had a huge garage sale. We donated household stuff to Angelic Resale (a shop that helps folk get back on their feet). We gave away things to family and friends, but I still want less in the house and garage.

I like the look of surprise on someone’s face when I offer Great Grandma’s old trunk. I want to see my niece use the teapot that was gifted to me by her dad and mom. And why shouldn’t one more family baby wear the crocheted bonnet made in the late 1800s, instead of it resting between tissue paper in a drawer.

A common problem with possessions is that owners become bedazzled by their trinkets and doodads. Cyndy Salzmann, known as America’s Clutter Coach, said that when we refuse to let go of real clutter and things that hinder good progress in our lives, then those things have become idols to us. That’s a disquieting revelation to me.

I wonder if any of my possessions have such a hold on me that I can’t let go. I question if any of the things in my household have lost their usefulness and yet I still cling to them? Whole television shows are based on people who fill their homes to the rafters with stuff. Some people continually buy and order things until they only have paths in their homes, and the rooms are unfit for human habitation.

Just so you’ll know, I’m not against cookie cutters, but I don’t plan to let things fill up my shelves when they have outlived their real use. I still make cookies that you drop by the spoonfuls with the grandchildren, but just not the roll out kind anymore.

The other night, my husband David asked, “Do we have any cookies to lure the grandchildren over?” I didn’t, so we phoned and invited them to bake cookies with us. We made the teacake recipe that I’ve adapted to be dropped by the spoonfuls onto a baking pan. We dipped the bottom of a drinking glass with sugar and pressed them down flat. And we had just as much fun.

Over the next few weeks, I plan to tell you about a few support groups in Montgomery County, groups that can help in our struggles. My first suggestion for group support is to get your family into a church, one of the best places for sustenance and friendship.

If you want to declutter and also keep things out of our landfills, go to and look for the Montgomery County Freecycle group with 2400 members who recycle their unwanted items to each other. No costs involved. This is a nationwide group, so out-of-towners reading this, please look for one in your area.

Happy New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cathy, you are giving me inspiration to do more de-cluttering in 2010, and that may be an informal resolution for me.
    I have done a bit, but much more remains to be done.
    Thanks for the ideas,