I had an epiphany this week. Sad as it might be, I’m not getting any younger. I need to realize that one day I’m not going to be around anymore. All the stuff I’ve been saving because I might need it one day is not needed now and likely never will be. I might as well get rid of it.
I periodically decide to clean and get rid of excess junk. When you move, you pare down and trash things to keep from having to move them. However, I have not moved in 20 years and it is starting to show — big time.
I started with my closet. I don’t work in an office anymore and never wear most of the clothes I own. I could have sworn I cleaned the closet last fall when I had nothing else to do due to the pandemic. I don’t know why I still have so many shoes. Somehow, a clean closet inspires me to buy more clothes.
This time it is not going to happen.
A clean closet inspired me to clean dresser drawers. In case you are wondering, yes, I’ve read Marie Kondo’s book about “tidying up.” She says take each item and ask yourself if it gives you joy. If the answer is no, get rid of it. That doesn’t work for me. If it didn’t give me joy, I wouldn’t have it in the first place.
The question I ask is, “Do I ever use this?” If I don’t currently use it, it is not likely I am going to use it in the years I have remaining. My only exception is a few things for which I have a strong (very strong) sentimental attachment. I once saw a program about organization that said anything worth keeping is worth displaying. With a limited amount of space for living, that draws a pretty clear line.
From the bedroom, I went to the kitchen. There was not a whole lot to do in the kitchen, but it did need organizing. I tried to get rid of the goose pattern dishes (honestly), but realized we would not have anything to eat on. I also kept my “good dishes.” I guess someone else will have to get rid of the wedding china when I die as I simply can’t do it.
Of course, the big overwhelming problem is the attic, stuff that has not been touched in years, stuff I’m going to need “one of these days” — maybe. Ridiculous. So, I resolved to do the deed while I was in the mood. I sent four storage bins of stuff to charity today, and have at least four more that can go next.
I’m giving away some good stuff. I thought I would have a garage sale one day, but garage sales are a lot of trouble. Usually, after dragging all the cast off items out, pricing it, advertising it, spending a day selling it and putting up with people wanting to bargain when stuff is already dirt cheap, I am lucky to end up with a hundred dollars. I am just going to donate it and be done with it once and for all.
It’s hard, but the more things that go, the better I feel. I will soon be done with my hoard. Does everyone have a stuff not good enough to use but too good to throw away? Judging from the many rental storage units seen around town, I’m not the only one. I’m beginning to see that my hoard is only a small part of the problem. Since I have plenty of room, other people put their junk in my attic too.
My back hurts, my allergies are acting up from the dust, I have a headache, and it is hot up there. I’m running out of steam. Maybe I will leave the rest until I have more time. This seems to always be how my stories about downsizing end.
Copyright 2021 Sheila Moss