It was springtime, and I was getting the urge to change things. I wanted to spruce up the place, make it more colorful, out with the old, in with the new.
When I looked around, I had to admit things seemed to have gotten out of hand over the winter. Every place I looked, I found stuff. Opened drawers and found stuff. Closets – stuff. Basement – more stuff’. Oh my gosh, had I become a hoarder?
Is it a sign of our times that one of the television networks has a series based on Hoarding – the compulsive retention of things that clutter the house even to the point of causing safety concerns?
It is amazing to see hoarding – in reality, or on the TV screen; piles of junk and what we would consider trash, flowing off table tops and bureaus and even sleeping places.
Thank goodness most of us don’t get to the state where parting with old magazines causes an emotional meltdown. But if we look around, chances are there are things we have not used for years; clothes that don’t fit, gadgets we don’t use, things that no longer match our lifestyle.
What so many of us do is arrange more space to accommodate these cast-offs. Box them and put them in the attic? Build more shelves or bookcases? Rent a storage locker and pay monthly for the privilege of keeping our STUFF?
Maybe it’s time to look at things a different way. How about parting with this stuff? Ask your adult kids if they want any of it. When they turn you down, have a yard sale. Call a charity. Many will even come and pick it up.
Adopt a mindset of parting with what you don’t need, instead of keeping it or worse still, treasuring it.
They say it’s freeing to give it up. Are you ready to try?
P.S. I visited a friend whose spouse had died three days before. In front of their house were 27 large, black trash bags. He explained they were filled with old, overworn, or out-of-style clothes, shoes, and purses that his wife should have tossed years ago. He had wasted no time in seeing that they were removed. He was determined to avoid hoarding, now that he was alone.
It seemed disrespectful to see belongings discarded so soon after the loss of a loved one, but perhaps he had the right idea.