For quite some time now I’ve wanted to move to Europe. There’s been a number of things stopping me. Do I really want to leave my homeland? Will I like Europe as much as I think I will? And most importantly, what do I do with all this stuff?
Some of these questions have been answered. Yes, I love Europe. No, I don’t want to burn bridges here so maybe I’ll rent my house or buy something cheaper in a smaller community. But there’s one thing I’ve not dealt with. My stuff.
Like virtually all Americans I have a lot of stuff. I have stuff from all the crafty things I do and all the crafty things I intended to do and all the crafty things I used to do. I have sports equipment from all the sports I do, did and think I’ll do again.
And hardest, I have all the stuff from my childhood my mother gave me when she decluttered. Thanks a lot mom. Things like Christmas decorations I remember loving as a child. Baby shoes, toys and other things that used to be a very big part of my life… 35 years ago. Things that take up space, aren’t ever used and yet still live in my attic like some inanimate ghost of Christmas past.
But as I read this book I realized that if I really do want to move, if I really do want to simplify my life then this stuff needs to go. My stuff costs me. Containers are needed to store and organize said stuff. Buying plastic stuff to store plastic stuff! It’s the American way! I feel like I should be wearing a June Cleaver dress while doing this tidying even though June didn’t have nearly the amount of crap or “need” for plastic storage containers that I have.
My stuff gives me junk to clean around and makes my house cluttered. That makes me not want to be there and that costs me in the form of a huge coffee-house expenditures. Without this stuff I could either close off my extra home space and not heat it or possibly rent a room or two. My junk is expensive.
But more importantly the junk in my attic has been there since my ex-husband (then my boyfriend) and I moved in to this house. Yes, a marriage has come and gone and this stuff stays where it is, boxed up because lord knows someday I just might want it!
At some point though I have to ask myself what I really want from my life. Do I want ancient keepsakes that stay in boxes where I’ll never see or use them? Do I want old toys that I’ll never play with to keep for… kids I’ll never have? Why? And what would it feel like to have things I need, use and want and little more?
I can tell you the answer to that. It would feel like freedom.
So tomorrow I begin the Ten Things Challenge to free me from stuff I no longer need or want to carry with me. Rather than doing some huge painful purge I’ll be ditching ten unnecessary, unused or unwanted things each week and writing a bit about it.
I’ll post the “rules” tomorrow if you’d like to join me. What do you have to lose?