Updates from the Homestead and the Difficulties of Getting Rid of “Stuff”
Happy New Year!!! My blogging has been so spotty lately. Seemed like so much going on for the holidays with friends and family coming and going. A few days after Christmas I decided it was time to take the tree down and put all the Christmas decorations away for the season. I always like starting out the New Year with my house in order.
New Year’s Eve was spent with just Tobin and me at home. Our children all had plans with their siblings and Tobin and I enjoyed ringing in the New Year quietly.
I’m currently involved in my yearly basement clean out project. This year I have been rather ruthless and driven when it comes to lightening up my belongings. Oh how many things I hang onto because somewhere in the back of mind I think.. hmm, I MIGHT use this again.
During my clean out process I also discovered something interesting. I can see why it is people have such a hard time getting rid of things. And to a degree why people hoard. My first task was to clean out my bookshelves. I had a LOT of books from all my years of homeschooling. But, I am nearing the end of my homeschool career. I have 2 high school students and I figure I will be done in another year or two. So it was time to take a hard look at what I had and make some difficult choices. Of course I gave many books to my grandchildren. But most were given away to Goodwill or friends. With each book what I saw was not just a book, but memories of cozy winter evenings with my kids all piled up on my bed as we read book after book after book, I saw in some books the hope of the things that I wanted to do and did not do, I saw the missed opportunities to read this or that to my children (especially my youngest children) and it was now too late. The day after I went through the first set of books I had this urge to go back through them again. I kept thinking, maybe I don’t want to get rid of this or that. I resisted and now the books are gone and actually I feel so much better! But the emotional difficulties were something I never realized I would face when cleaning out books.
I think the same is true for other things we store, not just books. It can be emotionally difficult to look at items that you don’t use, probably won’t use and even forgot you had until you opened the box and have to make a choice to give or sell them. What you see is not unwanted items but hopes, dreams, plans you had and/or memories.
On the other hand deciding not to hanging onto to things and making choices to let go of hopes and dreams that most likely won’t happen frees up not only space but the burden of carrying around so much. I am the type of person that feels so much mental freedom when my load of “stuff” is light. Of course if I had concrete plans for using items, I would keep them, but the reality is much of what I was/am hanging onto is no longer used or needed. I guess this is also part of the change of seasons we walk through.
As my husband said to me when I was wrangling with a few items… “You can’t take it with you.” How true is that? My desire is to keep what IS needed and to let go of items and hand them on to those who may actually get some use out of them and lighten my load at the same time.
I’m almost done with the clean out and then I think it will be time to paint my basement. It drab and dreary down there and without so much to store it may not be such a hard task to move things around and makes improvements. A clean freshly painted basement will be a nice reward for this job!