I have entirely too much stuff.
There are lots of reasons for this state of affairs.
1) I am a child of a child of the depression so I learned not to throw anything away.
2) When my dad died, I inherited both his house packed to the brim with stuff as well as my grandmother’s house packed to the brim with stuff.
3) I like cool stuff. Especially if I think I might be able to use it/wear it someday.
But the situation has gotten out of control. I have clothes I haven’t worn in years (and am not likely to anytime in the near future. I have lamps, rugs and knick-knacks that don’t really suit my style. And I have more books than I will ever be able to read or re-read.
The weight of all of this stuff is starting to strangle me. And it keeps me from being nimble. I mean, how can I trap of mediocrity if I am trapped by stuff?
1) Do I love it?
2) Do I use it?
3) Do I want it?
4) Do I need it?
5) It is worth trading my lightness of foot for it?
Now in the interest is transparency, I’ve reached this place before. Sick to death of my stuff and vowing to get rid of it. But my attempts in the past have been measly really. And last night I hit on why that is.
For some reason giving stuff to the Salvation Army so that it can be re-sold just doesn’t do it for me. There are people in my city who don’t even have the cash or the wherewithall to shop there. And beside, I shop there – and I am not exactly in need. So collecting my donations have been half-hearted at best.
Then I remembered something. There is a place that people go, sometimes in the middle of the night, and arrive with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing. Women, children, even men come to this place and need the very basics immediately. The items that are weighing me down would be a godsend to them. Just the motivation I need.
What is this place, you might be wondering? My local domestic violence shelter.
And if the stuff I complain about, put off decisions about and generally feel encumbered by can give someone a boost toward freedom, I AM IN!
So, starting today, I am cleaning out with a vengeance. All it took was the right connection in my brain.
So, I have three questions for you:
1) Are you encumbered by too much stuff?
2) Are you willing to let go of any of it?
3) Is there someone who would could really USE the things that are just taking up space around you?
P.S. Martha Beck always talks about how our houses is a metaphor for our lives. GULP! I don’t want a life crammed with stuff that weighs me down!