With credit to Marie Kondo, who says if an item does not spark joy, get rid of it, I spent a day in my home and closet yesterday doing just that. After putting away Christmas for another year, I decided to cull some clothes and stuff. I must say that doing so was quite cathartic.
First, stuff. I have had dining room table pads that I do not use because they have several breaks in them. Instead of keeping them, I decided to heave-ho them to the dumpster. I also let go of some Christmas decorations that I did not again use (again) this year. Then into my closet, I went.
I went through all of my clothes, although I did not take everything out of my closet as Marie Kondo and other organizers suggest. But I did touch every item and tried on those items that I did not know if they would still fit. If an item did not feel right (spark joy!), I put it aside to donate or consign. While there were some things that could be altered to fit, I decided that enough is enough about that, and unless the item was really important to me, I let it go; regardless of how much the item cost or if I had never even worn it. (You know that you have those items in your closet also!) While I do not think that I will ever get to the level of Project 33, I made major progress. My closet is definitely lighter and so am I!
Next, I will go through each room and do the same, especially drawers and closets. I have many flower vases that I have not used for years (or never ever used!) and realize that although I like them, it is unlikely that if I haven’t used them, that I ever will. It will be much harder for me to do the same with my massive collection of china, glassware, and other kitchen items. I am the queen of multiples, and it is impossible to ever use all of the kitchen and cooking stuff that I have, even at Thanksgiving when we have many cooks in the kitchen. You would probably be amazed at the number of kitchen hand towels that clog my drawers! While I have begun to sort and cull some of those, there is much more to do.
What is the goal of this, you might be thinking? While I am not totally sure, I do have some ideas.
It has become clear that our children do not want our stuff! While I have not consciously been saving all of these items for them, there is lots of stuff in the attic that has been residing there for more than thirty years, waiting to be given to our daughters, who clearly do not want any of it! I found some lovely letters sent to our oldest daughter, Tara, when she was in Italy on a study trip, (almost twenty years ago!) and thought that surely, she would want them, and decide what to keep. Her comment, “Mom, just throw all of that away,” almost made me physically sick! I have not thrown those away yet, but I will. Why should I hold onto her stuff when she does not want it? A more important question is why am I holding onto lots of things that I do not use or obviously want?
We have lived in the same home since 1988. It is easy to let stuff accumulate in drawers and cabinets when one doesn’t have an easy process to go through such periodically, such as a move to another home. Too often, we just put more stuff on top of what is already there, until the drawers and cabinets will no longer open easily. Or maybe you do not do this, but clearly, I have.
A harder toss will be the multitude of physical photos that clog my drawers and cabinets. Several years ago, I organized photos for Mike and both girls, yet I have never given them to them. I think that I am afraid they will throw them away! So, what if they do? Again, why am I holding on to their stuff? Goodness knows I have plenty of my own!
Enough writing about it; I must get up and get back to it! I will keep you posted on my progress.
Now, how about you? In this new year, what are you holding on to that you need to get rid of? Your stuff may not be physical at all, but mental or emotional. Regardless, just get started. You do not have to have an endpoint to get started. Trust the process, and just begin.