Pruning Your Trash


The Correct Way To Prune

Sometimes, and I mean normally, people will let little things slide here and there.

For the most part, you run a tight ship, but there are days when you don’t clean the kitchen as well as usual or when you don’t mind when the living room isn’t actually cleaned up entirely before bed.  You have to expect that some days you are just too exhausted to care about the crayons that are still on the kitchen table, or the clothes that are still on the couch.  Maybe everyone has been sick, maybe it’s been a busy day, maybe you just need a break from being on top of everything.But you don’t skimp on the big things… just little things.

We all know that those little things add up over time, and in this house they can add up over a day.

What surprised me by the end of yesterday, after going through every room with a broom getting every lego, every sippy cup and every toy out from under every bed, was not how much stuff the kids have.  There is a rotation system we have between the toys in the house and the toys in the garage, so there aren’t mountains of toys all over the place.

What was surprising was the amount of trash that was hiding in every pile!

Not trash like banana peels or rotten food…just trash like old drawings, leftover wrapping paper, old worksheets, broken clothespins, fluff from pillows, etc.

But it all added up to be a monster of a problem.  The surprising thing is that when we first began our cull of the mess, it looked like we had a ridiculous amount of things that we had to figure out where to put.  I thought it would take all week to get this done!  Yet, once we put all the trash into 3 large black trashbags (yes, that much!!), the amount of things to put away really wasn’t that much.  That task didn’t take that long.

So this got me thinking: isn’t this a common problem for us?  

We look at a problem that seems overwhelming, that looks like this mountain that will take all the effort we have left in us to tackle?

Yet, when we get rid of the trash, we are only left with the things that actually matter to us.  

This idea could easily be applied to cleaning our homes, of course…but couldn’t it also be applied to obligations we have signed up for, social groups we are part of, friendships, hobbies, work…

What do we find when we prune our trash?  Do we see the people around us more clearly?  Do we see what we have in a more grateful manner?  Do we endeavor to relish the life and relationships that we find hidden underneath with a greater fervor?

Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. – Anthony Robbins

This idea of pruning the piles and actually getting rid of it… getting it bagged and completely out of the house… really helps illuminate the life that we so often skim over when it is buried under needless mountains of unimportant trash.