I’ve been struggling lately with stuff. Literally, stuff. I have entirely too much stuff.
I’ve probably always had too much stuff, but never really felt like it was overwhelming, or taking over my life in any way. Afterall, I LOVE stuff. The kind of stuff I’m referring to includes knick-knacks, books, old toys, papers, art work, kitchen stuff, antique kitchen stuff. I mean you name it, I probably got it.
The straw that broke the camel’s back though was when I started losing loved ones and began receiving things that belonged to them. I lost six family members in a two year span a few years back, one of those losses being my Mom.
It was such a hard time on so many levels dealing with everything that happened during that period. After someone dies, their things must be dealt with – like it or not. My guest room has slowly become more of a storage room of sorts with things stacked solidly in the closet and other things shoved under the bed and even more things billowing out onto the floor stacked up against the wall.
I seriously panicked after watching a few episodes of Hoarders on A&E because my guest room was looking eerily similar to those horrid heaps and mounds of things stacked upon things that this show portrays. Every now and then we’d have company come stay and I would cram and pack and make it look presentable but somehow, after the guests left, more stuff would make it’s way into that room.
We’ve recently done a little bit of remodeling to our kitchen/utility and as I’m putting everything back together, I’m also realizing it’s time to let go.
I just ran across the best essay on this subject over at theminimalists.com. This essay really puts all this into perspective for me and has helped me to realize that all of these things are simply that, just things. It’s ok to let go of someone else’s things. Even if you know for a fact that they loved a certain item, it doesn’t mean that you have to love that item, and it certainly doesn’t mean that, if you let that item go, you love the departed any less, or are dishonoring them or their memory somehow.
I’ll definitely keep some cherished items, but just a few will suffice. Another great tip I read somewhere (can’t remember where) is to take pictures of sentimental items before letting them go. It’s just as fun to look at the picture and go back to that moment in time…that moment when your Mom bought that cool Christmas Village display and couldn’t wait to get home and put it all together for you. What a great Christmas that was, and, of course, what a great Mom she was.