Buried Under The Mess

clutter

The playroom we cleaned yesterday

Packing. Digging. Sorting. Purging. There is something very peaceful for me in the act of decreasing.

For too long, I have nagged, begged, and pleaded with my husband and children about the extreme amount of stuff in our house. The people of my family are all pack-rats raised by a father who was taught to throw nothing away. I was raised by a woman to whom nothing material was sacred, she’d toss out anything that wasn’t currently in use. I’m a minimalist living in a house of hoarders. I’m definitely the odd man out.

I would give almost all of it away. We have so much more than we really need.

I clear out and haul to the curb, only to have some or most of what I’ve removed be sneaked back in. There’s an elaborate system going on to undermine my efforts. There’s a Happy Meal toy upstairs that I’ve thrown out at least four times, and a broken sword that’s been rescued more times than I can count.

I’ve stopped buying anything that isn’t a necessity, but with three grandmas and a huge extended family, I’m out-gunned.

Our evenings and weekends are spent doing laundry, and in cleaning and organizing our house. All of our free time is devoted to the putting away of all of the stuff because there is so much stuff to put away. Every available inch of shelf, counter, or under-the-bed space is overflowing.

And I just keep shoveling out what I can.

I can’t help but think of all the things we say we’d like to do, and the places we dream of going if only we had the time. There are so many things to do with a Saturday afternoon not devoted to washing the never-ending laundry. And I just keep digging down trying to find the bottom of the piles.

Because deep in my heart, I am certain that the life we could be living is around here somewhere, completely buried under these heaping mounds of stuff.

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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