For the past 13 or so years, I’ve been holding on. Mostly, I’ve been holding onto STUFF. When I left Stone Mountain and moved to California, I took a ton of stuff – for my new inn. When I left California and headed back to the South, I carried a lot of it (plus more) back. I’ve moved houses five times in the past six years. One would think that this would be an excellent opportunity to purge items that you no longer need. But in reality, all but the last move were incredibly traumatic for me, because they brought back memories of the California move and what a nightmare it had been. I’ve moved some of the same things from state to state for most of my adult life.
To make matters worse, with becoming foster parents, we have accumulated so much. Toys, baby equipment, and mostly CLOTHES. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my basement has an entire wall dedicated to childrens clothing. I have 66 liter containers, filled with every size of girls clothing from preemie to 14/16. In fact, I have THREE of these containers dedicated to size 3T alone. And this is after purging 11 bags of clothes in the fall. (Thanks to everyone who has given us clothes, but we’ll have to decline from here on out.)
Even if I organize or hide the clutter, it is still there. It weighs on me, like ankle weights. I can’t shake loose of the burden. It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve been carrying around about 50 extra pounds since all of this started, too. I’ve been unable to let go for two reasons primarily. The years of pretty severe poverty programmed my mind to believe that if I got rid of something and then needed it again, I wouldn’t be able to afford it. Thankfully, this is no longer my situation. But I think I needed to give myself permission and say “Hey, if you get rid of that and you really need it again, you can buy it. It’s costing you something to own it – your mental wellbeing!” Second, I’ve needed a new perspective on bringing items into the house. If I buy new socks, I need to get rid of the old, holey socks. And my children don’t need 35 outfits for each season.
Oh, don’t even get me started on my curriculum hoarding!
It’s time to let go. I went through my personal clothing this week and got rid of 7 bags of clothes; clothes that don’t fit, that I don’t like, or that I don’t wear. Gone! I organized my side of the closet. I organized my dresser drawers. I haven’t organized or purged these in YEARS. I have clothes that I like to wear but can never find in my huge mountain of laundry.
I’m tackling the kids clothes next. All those containers of clothes in the basement? I may pull out a few favorites, but the rest are GOING! And I’m paring down to 10-12 outfits per season for each child. And why do we have 25-30 pairs of socks that we can never match up sitting in a hamper? GOODBYE!
I’m hoping to work my way through the entire house and get rid of this burden of STUFF. And who knows, maybe I’ll drop those 50 pounds along the way?