Happy Spring Day to all in the Southern Hemisphere! And a wonderful Autumn to those in the North!
We had the perfect spring weather for our decluttering mission this weekend.
The start of a journey (and a detour down memory lane):
What a weekend of emotional turmoil. Starting one’s route to minimalism by beginning with the biggest collection of memories and junk combined might be a little extreme. We spent our whole weekend sorting through the garage. This was VERY difficult. And a LOT of work.
So beware, if you plan to try this, this may not be the best place to start. A person should probably start with a junk drawer and work your way up.
Nevertheless: it means that we know exactly what is going on down in the dark, dusty bowels of our hoard. And we have sorted through every detail of it. The worst part has been dealt with. There were boxes that had never been opened in the 12 years that we have been living and moving together.
It was a big job but what a great relief to know that it is done.
How it affected us:
After selling a few items, we still have a big heap that will be donated and some things for specific people. This is frustrating because there are many things still in the space and I was hoping for a clear clean result. But at least they are in transit. So no clean slate yet.
The toughest part was sorting through my daughter’s baby clothes and giving most of it away and selling the rest. Many, many tears were shed.
Yet, after the initial fear of losing my memories of her as a baby, I realised that those memories are always with me and that I have digital pictures (no clutter!) of her in everything anyway. A wonderful calm and joy came over me thinking that other precious children will be dressed in these beautiful clothes. New memories will be made in them. How wonderful that these items will have a new life and not just be stuck in boxes for who knows how long.
I also went through my whole schooling and studying history and got rid of, well, basically everything. This was tough. But I feel incredibly light after saying goodbye to ’the proof’ of how great or cool or talented I used to be.
We tend to hold on to ideas of who we once were as though we aren’t in the midst of constant change. We are not who we were at six or at fifteen years of age. In fact that person will always be in us and is definitely not in the tons of paper records accumulated through the years. So: into the recycling bin it all goes and something useful might even be made from it!
I know my husband had a similar experience.
One of the things that affected me most was the collection of letters from my childhood pen friend. She is from Kenya and I have no idea what happened to her. Where is she now? What is her life like? Reading these letters was incredible. Maybe there are some clues in them to help me find her. I haven’t heard from her in 19 years. So I have kept these letters. For now.
We also found some wonderfully useful items which we never use and these will be donated. This is an amazing thing to be able to do and comes with a wonderful feeling.
Our debt is slowly being chipped away. We sold our PS3 and all our games. And we are selling some antiques and furniture. Unfortunately these things aren’t worth as much as one would expect. So, our road will be a long one. Every little bit helps, though. So hold thumbs!
The week ahead:
This week we will be focussing on our house. Mostly our wardrobes and linen closet. It is a tough, tough job and more minimising will be needed after we have gone through everything once. I am struggling to let go of some things. This is ok. We have decided to work on the junk and non-sentimental things this week. Just a break from the turmoil. 😉
Next update: Friday. Whew.
What would be the toughest thing/s for you to give up? Are there objects you are living with just to keep others happy?