I’ve been wanting to write a post about the most compelling reasons to get rid of clutter for a while now. In fact, I’ve been writing and rewriting that post in my head for the last few days of my vacation. The trouble is that unloading my stuff has affected my life in such an enormous and personal way that I couldn’t possibly reduce it to a list.
The last stop on my vacation was Silver Star, BC where I was coaxed (by well-meaning friends) into launching my body down a mountain on a bicycle. I believe the sell went something like this: “You could do this trail on a cruiser bike with a picnic basket.” Needless to say I’m glad I splurged on the rental of body armour and a full face helmet. But I digress.
The Silver Star trip reminded me of just how much I love living in hotels.
Last year we stayed in the Firelight Lodge and the “contemporary mountain” suite had me wanting to trade my super-sized house for a 650 square foot studio.
It’s genius design and connecting doors had me playing a 48-hour game of “Where’s Mommy?” with the kids. And the well thought out storage areas meant we didn’t once have to play “Where’s Mommy’s keys?” But the best thing about the Firelight Lodge (or any hotel for that matter) is that we each checked in with only 1 suitcase each full of our favourite things.
And that has to be the single most compelling reason for getting rid of clutter that I can think of. Seriously, have you ever walked into a hotel room and thought: what this place is missing is a whole lot of my crap?
Sure, sometimes a comfortable bed or a sharp knife would be a pleasant addition, but do you miss your 46 tea towels or your laundry day underwear? Do you ever get a hankering to fix that broken flashlight you’ve been hanging onto?
I didn’t think so.
And that’s why my list of the five most compelling reasons to declutter is also a list of the five reasons I want to live in a hotel.
1) Empty Drawers = Rich Life:
There’s just something about using a whole drawer for five pairs of underwear. All that space tricks my brain into thinking that I have plenty. On the other hand, if I’m constantly sifting through ratty panties to find the good ones (which are probably at the bottom of the laundry hamper), I tend to buy more just to balance out the dreadful pairs.
2) One Suitcase
When you only have one suitcase, you are forced to be very selective about what you put in it. I’m going to start thinking about our stuff in terms of packing for life. For example, would I pack my back-up ski jacket for a weekend at Whistler? Would I take broken goggles on a beach holiday? Would Squirrel pack a suit to go anywhere? No. No. No. Without exception, I only pack our favourite things to go on vacation while at home I don’t hesitate to store 58 cleaning rags, 25 tea cups with saucers, and a pair of culottes I can’t stand the sight of myself in.
3) Maid Service!
Professional Organizers claim that decluttering your home can reduce your cleaning time by at least 30%. While it’s not quite as good as having someone else do it for you – I am willing to do anything to cut down on the time I spend cleaning. Hotel rooms are designed to be easy to clean. That means nothing but furniture on the floor and almost nothing on horizontal surfaces.
4) Family Time:
Sometimes when we stay in hotels, the kids have to share a bed or we have to share TV time. It forces us to negotiate middle ground between Angry Beavers and Criminal Minds which can be an important life lesson. Plus I never have to worry if what they’re watching is appropriate because we’re all right there in the same room. My boys never mind sharing a bed – I guess it just saves them time scampering across the hall to find each other in the morning.
5) Getting Out There:
I never expect to sit around a hotel room all day. It’s more like a launching pad for what I really want to do. For my family that usually means spending an entire day pursuing our various passions. I would like my home to be just that – a peaceful place to start and end our days. In a hotel we don’t trip over mountains of our stuff or spend hours searching for lost keys or socks and that makes checking in and out so much easier.
So my focus for the remaining 50 days and 5,000 things of my project is hotel living. I can’t think of a better reason to get rid of clutter than to check back into my life.
By the way – I thrive on humour and encouragement so if you have any hotel stories or anything else to share – I’m all ears.
What I tossed Today: 100 items of clothing that would never make the one suitcase cut