With the new year, I know many of you have been working on organizing the different areas of your home.
Several years ago, I made a vow to get rid of the unnecessary STUFF and get organized in my own home. After my parents had both passed away, it took my sister, my husband and me SEVEN full weekends to clean out the home where my parents had lived for more than 40 years. The amount of STUFF they had accumulated through the years was overwhelming. I decided right then and there that I never wanted my daughter to have to deal with cleaning out an over-abundance of STUFF her dad and I have saved through the years.
Well, much like the pain of childbirth, the time-consuming and overwhelming task of cleaning out my parents’ home was soon forgotten and the STUFF in my own home, garage and the backyard storage sheds I/we no longer used or wanted continued to sit untouched…
a couple of months ago when I started packing for the move to the house in Hooterville.
I have been determined to go through every closet, every drawer, every piece of paper, every storage box in the garage and sheds, every inch of this house and decide what to keep, toss, donate and sell BEFORE it gets moved. I refuse to take STUFF to the new house that we don’t want or use.
Not surprising, after 38 years of marriage and 35 years in the same house, this task has been equally as overwhelming as going through my parents’ home was. Our garage has looked like a bomb went off in it ever since I started the sorting process. Yikes!
However, this is the perfect opportunity to pare down and move only the STUFF that is most important to us.
In this process of purging, I have realized I’ve kept a lot of STUFF for sentimental reasons. I still have my daughter’s crib. (She’s 28 for pity sakes!) I still have her childhood rocking chair and her little wooden table and chair set. I also saved her Teddy Ruxpin bear, her Cabbage Patch and American Girl dolls and some of the other popular toys from her early years. I feel a sentimental attachment to them but I also thought perhaps someday, if my daughter had children of her own, they might like to have them. I have come to realize these things have more meaning to me than they do to my daughter. So…it’s time to let them go.
I also still have my wedding gown from our wedding 38 years ago.
If/when my daughter gets married, I’m sure she will want to pick out a wedding gown that is reflective of her taste and the current styles rather than wear mine that is out of fashion, yellowed, stained and has a weird smell after being packed away for so many years. So why am I saving it? It’s a HUGE dress with tier after tier of lace. It weighs a ton and takes up a lot of space to store it. It’s time to let the wedding gown go too.
But, before I get rid of it, I do plan to cut a piece of the lace off to be made into a special (smaller) keepsake…to appease the sentimental part of me.
It also occurred to me that I have kept a lot of STUFF because I’m afraid I might need it again someday. Things I bought years ago and used for years have served their purpose but I continue to hold onto them…JUST IN CASE. Heaven forbid…what if I might want it or need it again?! In reality though, I’m finding I didn’t even remember I had most of this STUFF until I started going through the storage bins so, in all likelihood, I’m sure I won’t even miss it after it’s gone.
As I continue to go through the process of deciding what to keep, toss, donate and sell, I still have a tendency to want to keep more than I should but I have weeded out an unbelievable amount of STUFF. This is only about 1/3 of the STUFF that will be sold at our garage sale. (Doesn’t look like much in the photo but in some places STUFF is piled up 3 feet high!)
We’ll be living a lot lighter and more organized in the house in Hooterville and I think it’s going to feel really good!
What about you? Do you hold on to things because you are attached to STUFF, like me? Or do you find it easy to let go of things you no longer want or need?