This post spoke to me in a big way.
I mentioned I might border on crazy recycling lady. Part of my mother's borderline hoarding must have also washed off on me because I have a thing towards letting stuff go I see potential in. Two dueling tendencies, battling in my person.
I think there is a natural inclination though, of not getting rid of things that you might need in the future. Not wanting to be wasteful of either money nor supplies.
But this house project has made me view my possessions in a whole new light. I feel like I have had to move us 8 times in the last 2 years. I say move us because while I literally moved us twice in 6 months, completely in and out of the same house, every time we begin a project here, it begins in a big way and every item is cleared out. That's the downside to living in a house in progress.
Because I haven't had any built in's upstairs, not even closet shelves, for more than 2 years, if the item doesn't have somewhere to live, it is a nuisance. The things I have in our house have to have some value, because I will have to move them sometime, and I'm getting too old to move stuff we don't need, or want.
But it's taken me these 8 times of lugging stuff around to get to this, what can only be described as, an Ah-Ha moment. I have lugged some of this un-needed stuff around for years.
I was in high school when my Aunt worked at a Hallmark and the store closed. I thought "I'll never spend another dime on a card again! Yehaw!! I'll be rich with all the money I'll save!" Some of these cards are from then...27 years ago.
There are a lot of empty envelopes here too.
All of these are empty.
I couple of the notebooks are from college years, or first jobs, or first organizing attempts. Some 22 years ago. The files and hanging folders are from more recent hand me down or freecycled furniture. Low mileage: 5 years or less.
Granted, these card and notebook piles used to be a lot bigger. For maybe the first 7 years, I always had a card to send. And after the first time I bought 3 kids school supplies one September, the extra notebooks became very valuable.
But these are now mostly the scragglers.
It finally dawned on me as I was moving these items, yet again last week during prep time, that even though these items don't take up much space -- they take up a lot of space in my essence. They weigh down my spirit somehow.....
I guess I can add borderline crazy guru to my list of personality traits.
But none of these cards fit where I'm at right now, and it has been a long time since one have them has worked. I only need as many file and hanging folders as I have file cabinet drawers for. The notebooks that were too flimsy or too large for us 3 years ago, will not change in the next minute, let alone 3+ years from now.
I think most of us have places to stash things. I used to have cabinets, drawers or closet shelves to stash things I didn't want to think about. And I didn't think about them, unless I opened one of those closets, cabinets or drawers. When I did, sometimes, for some reason, it made me feel kind of bad. I can only describe it as guilt. Guilt that I had these extra perfectly good free items, yet I had gone out and spent money on cards for my friends and family, or notebooks that my kids wanted for school that year.
But the bottom line is that I enjoy picking out cards for people, and (most of the time) shopping with my boys.
I will give some of these away. All the envelopes, enough to mail a lifetime plus of mail. The extra and legal size file and hanging folders for a file cabinet drawer I will never have. The cards, that, in all likelihood, will never ever apply to my life. The notebooks that are perfectly fine, but always the last picked for paperwork.
Your lift into the happy girl at Goodwill's hands will be the last time I move you.
I am breaking up with you, you weigh-er-downers. We're done. I feel lighter already.