When you were a child did your mother save the bows and boxes from gifts for future use? Was your mother one of those extremist who didn’t want you to tear gift wrap because it was so beautiful and she could iron it and use it again? Did someone in your family save every plastic bag not just bread, but dried beans, and noodles? When your parents or grandparents moved from the home they lived in forever, did you find collections of things they were saving for a rainy day (twist ties, corsage pins, & plastic flower pots, you know what I mean), and sent those years of careful collecting and neatly storing to the trash?
Do you find that it is hard for you to throw things away? Is your collection of junk not as extreme as Great Aunt Addie, or Grandpa Jones, but you do have one. I would argue that many of us are hoarders by our upbringing. I am not talking the hoarding that you see on TV, but I am not so sure I want a TV camera to come show you my collection of stuff either.
Today it is a little gloomy outside and I have decided that it is time for some things to go. I am not deluding myself that it will all be gone, or that I won’t keep stuff that honesty I should get rid of but I am going to spend two hours today moving some of my saved stuff out.
Our house sitter just moved into a new place. I am giving her the table I bought for my first apartment. I can’t remember the last time I used it, but it has been stored in no less than 8 houses. I have been married for 30 years, and I bought it before then. It is time for it to be useful again.
I just did two, the maximum, listings on free cycle for a couple of things. Yards of fabric from the seconds warehouse that I stocked up on years ago, planning to make clothes, curtains and even slip covers. It is going to find a new home. A great opaque projector that I have used only once since I lived in Montana, eight years. Other than one time all it has done is collect dust.
I just sent a bunch of books to my Salvation Army box. I likely bought many of them when I taught quilting and now only need to keep those I want for personal enjoyment. If I am not inspired by a quilt book, I am not keeping it, Someone else will want it, and be inspired, only then is it good book.
I did manage to fill half a black garbage bag of stuff. It was hard to say my stuff really is junk and should be thrown out. If I haven’t used it by now, I likely won’t. I threw out used bows and tissue paper, my gifts can have new. I recycled old shoe boxes, as I don’t think I will need them for school projects any more at this point. The shoes that came with those boxes have long since been worn out.
What I learned today is I am my mother’s daughter, thrifty, crafty, and sentimental. I need more free time than I have if I am going to get everything done I want to do. So I must choose which things to save that I will make time for, and let go of the rest. One two-hour exercise at a time.