I’ve spent the last month helping my mom get ready to sell her house; My childhood home. The house where I once sat on the floor of the kitchen at age 17, 50 lbs overweight at 10pm on a Friday night, holding a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie and crying, because I couldn’t stop eating.
You can’t make this stuff up, people.
Anywho… We’ve been going through closets, cabinets, dressers, drawers, boxes, you name it.
I found my childhood toy, which clearly identifies what a weirdo I am. I mean, what child has a clown as their “go to” toy of choice? Me. And, I definitely loved Clowny to the point of destruction. He was tucked away in a plastic bag at the top of a closet. Someone help me convince my better half that he needs to come home with us!
Outside of re-living life as a plump teenager and reuniting myself with the scariest toy anyone’s ever seen, cleaning mom’s house has led to one realization:
We all have way too much stuff.
My mother has been divorced since I was 17, and yet she still has her wedding dress and a rather large canvas print of her and my father on their wedding day… when asked what she wanted to do with it, she was fine with tossing both. Why didn’t she just do that before? And why did my father feel the need to have such long hair in the photo? And more importantly, why does his hair look like it’s been delicately curled under with a 1/2 inch barrel curling iron?
In addition, there were recipe books galore in the kitchen cabinets. My mother doesn’t cook. See my post on Growing Up Grilled Cheese for more on that subject.
And, I won’t even mention the absurd amount of polyester that occupied her closet and has probably been living there since the 70’s.
Other items I found: tanning goggles, VHS tapes galore, a box full of buttons, two German steins, a Wok, Dustbuster, hot rollers, Caboodle… you get the picture.
Just silliness. Our homes are bulging with junk that we’re convinced we have to hang on to. It made me want to get home as quickly as possible and toss everything I own into the trash. Well, everything except for my workout gear, my recipe books, wedding photos, Halloween costumes, cookware, wedding dress…. SEEEEE???? We can’t let go. Why can’t we? Why are we emotionally attached to things that are ridiculous? Why not photograph it and let it go? Spend a moment with it and surrender it to someone who can use it more than we can. I still have my fine china in its original boxes tucked away at the top of our pantry. It’s been used maybe once. I’ve been married almost 8 years. Let it go, Tami. It’s hard to justify 6 place settings of fine china when you only have two chairs and a drop leaf four seater table in your kitchen.
For those of you with wedding registries, avoid registering for china at all costs. It’s a big fat waste of a registry item. Fine china is a lie.
When you live in 900 square feet, everything has to have a place, or you’re screwed. And, it’s probably easier for those of us with smaller homes to have fewer things, simply because we run out of room more quickly. But, I challenge you to put some serious thought into the things lurking in your closets, attics and basements. Think about the items in the topmost cabinets in the kitchen. If your house were burning down right now, would any of it matter? If not, let’s get rid of the crap we’ve been hoarding! Let’s stop being the gluttonous clutter bears we’ve become.
Purge. If nothing else, simply because it’s extremely therapeutic.
There’s something to be said for minimalism. And, letting go of some things can be extremely freeing.
*Don’t ask me to get rid of the clown. Ain’t happenin’.