Clearing Out Space

Mystery man and I have been going quite steady for some time now.  Shortly after the cousin moved out, my place flooded due to a leak in my dishwasher.  I had to have all the floor laminates replaced in my condo, which was quite the job.  The contractors had to move out all of my belongings, do the renovations and then move everything back in again.  The leaky dishwasher turned out to be more of a blessing than anything.  Almost the entire job was covered by my insurance company and the best thing about it all was that it was an opportunity for me to re-do my entire place.

I had been living in my place for about 4 years, and there was a lot of negative emotional build-up in this place.  I’ve felt this for a long time, and I think it was one of the driving factors of me wanting to just get up and move out.  Moving was a reoccurring thought for me in the past 2 years.  Even as the renovations were being completed, I had half the mind to just rent the place out and find somewhere else to live.

The great thing about the renovations was that I had to move out of my place temporarily.  I used this as an opportunity to find an AirBNB (temporary rental) place to try out what it might feel like to live elsewhere in the city.  In the end, I decided to just move back in.  I took it as an opportunity to really re-think my space and also involve mystery man in the process.

I started reading a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  It has really changed my life and way of thinking, slowly, in the past few months.  While unpacking my belongings from the massive mountain of brown boxes, I realized that I had way more stuff than what seemed like a reasonable amount for one person living in a fairly small urban condo.  I started decluttering and following some of the advice from the book.  This book, while a little cheesy, gave me inspiration and a new perspective.

I picked away at my belongings and sorted items into the following categories: give-away to friends, donation, recycling and garbage.  It felt so good to declutter.  It was like a weight was being lifted every time I carried another bag of garbage or recycling out of my condo.  I spent an entire day focused just on decluttering the kitchen and cooking-related items before moving onto clothing.  I’ve now halved the amount of closet space needed for my clothes!

I think mystery man also became inspired to help me as I went through this process.  He made decor suggestions such as having black-out curtains and having floor lamps for better lighting.  He also wanted to feel at home and comfortable when he was over at my place.  Since there was more space available, mystery man was able to claim an entire dresser drawer, and if he wishes he could even use the now empty closet.

I would actually like mystery man to move in, and although I know that he has been thinking about it, it is difficult for him to make that leap.  He sees his own place as a bit of a sanctuary and I get that.  My place is way too small to actually be able to get in any alone time.  I’ve suggested getting a bigger place, but he does not seem to be ready.

Despite me wanting him to move in, I do admit that we have a good thing going as it is.  He spends ample amounts of time with me and we practically live together.  We also get stretches of time apart since I travel a lot for work.  It still gives us the space needed to miss each other, which at this point in the relationship is still welcomed and nice.

One thing I know for sure is that this whole process of decluttering has really helped me find balance.  It was not my original intention, but it has even helped me curb my addiction to excessively shop.  I look at items now with more purpose and now I only want to buy things that I really like and makes me really excited, as opposed to buying things for the sake of buying things or because I think I may need it later.

The item that I felt best about getting rid of was this plastic dresser that was purchased when I first moved in.  My ex-boyfriend of 4 years kept some of his clothes in one of the drawers at one point, but when we broke up he took this one plastic drawer with all of his stuff.  This left the plastic dresser with a missing drawer for 4 years!  I can’t believe that I kept it for that long.  I kept thinking that one day I would be able to buy a new drawer that would fit, or that it was okay that it was missing and I could just use the hole that was left as an awkward storage space.  Just this idea that I would be okay with the thought of that was ridiculous!  I had already dealt with a relationship that was not fulfilling my needs for 4 years, and then I had to deal with a plastic dresser that was not fulfilling my needs for yet another 4 years.  It was broken, and I needed to accept it for what it was and just let it go.

I still have a way to go with the decluttering and re-organization of my place, and similarly, mystery man and I are still in the process of figuring ourselves out and how we fit together.  So far, it feels like things are taking a turn for the better.

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