December 29, 2011

End Of The Year Purge

by

I may be alone in this, but for some reason the last few weeks of December bring about an unnatural urge to throw things away (or donate them). It seems that I can clearly see all the junk that hasn’t been used and I want to get rid of it. It’s like freeing myself.

Sure, some of the stuff should have been discarded long ago. And maybe it’s having to rearrange stuff in cabinets and bins so I can get to things I really want. Or possibly it’s wanting to put away all the new stuff from Hanukkah and realizing there is no more space.

I’ve often thought that moving would be a good idea. After all, we’ve been in the same house about 14 years. I’ve got 14 years of stuff accumulated. And I have the desire to trash most of it. Because, well, most of it was probably not worth keeping in the first place. And isn’t the rule 7 years for maintaining documents? I guess that’s what it is if you’re not a lawyer and bound to keep all this paperwork until the end of time. Ugh!

And because I have what could amount to my own small drug store, I do have some dedicated space for my stockpile. But that doesn’t include the cabinets and such inside the house. Or the boxes that seemingly overtake the guest room.

The impetus for all this is often just one thing. This year it’s photo albums from my childhood and one that belonged to my mother. I had them in a cabinet in the garage. Fully exposed to all the elements, although lying to myself that they were safe because it was a metal cabinet. The reality is that the hot and cold fluctuations, the dust and varmints aren’t doing the preservation job I had thought.

Because I don’t have many photos of my mother, or of my childhood, these are actually very important to me. And I know better than to just put them in the garage. Well, in theory I know better. But in reality, 14 years of life begins to add up.

I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. It’s crazy, though, to look at the stuff I have saved. Honestly, I can’t tell you why I saved some of this stuff. Other than because it has some meaning of some sort that I’ll recall if you give me a few minutes. Truly, things I’ve never used but are cute, adorable, sentimental in some way.

I don’t live a minimalist or zen lifestyle, although I do think that I should move in that direction. It will make it easier when CycleGuy and I move to France for our next phase in life (which he may have some inkling of but doesn’t really know about). But getting rid of things is really hard. Especially when those things mean something.

It took me 15 years to get rid of my books from college. Seriously! I could have sold those bad boys, but instead I schlepped them around the country because I might need them one day. Thanks to the internet though, I realized I didn’t and finally let them go. The other stuff, and I say stuff because I can’t really tell you exactly what it is, I’m not ready to let go.

Maybe it’s the beginning of a sickness? Now, though, I have this very strong urge to move the cars out of the garage and start discarding things. Things I haven’t used and likely never will. Things that honest and truly have no real meaning other than they’re mine. Seeing what I’ve accumulated over the years but no longer use gives me anxiety and makes me wax nostalgic at the same time.

It’s time though. To let the stuff go to a new home (or landfill, although the granola chick in me is very averse to that idea). 2012 holds new adventures and experiences. The past is over and not everything needs to be saved. Right?

It’s hard to let go. I imagine I’ll find all kinds of weird things. And at the same time I’ll find things that will make me wonder why on earth I ever saved it.

Do you get the urge to purge?

Sara

{ 4 comments }

rhonda December 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Hmmm, maybe you need someone else to help you go through things? I volunteer. : )
Its hard to let go of some things but it can make a difference in how you feel. Good luck!

Sara January 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm

You’re welcome any time! I organized the pantry today. Might need some help in the garage and the kitchen cabinets.

Carrie December 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

i absolutely get that urge. i’m convinced there are genetic hoarding issues in my family and that the only way i can combat them is by purging (which is probably equally as problematic from a mental health standpoint). as soon as january rolls around here i’m ready to get back into ebaying.

Sara January 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I think I have the same issues, Carrie. The desire to eschew the hoarding gene often does result in discarding things I probably shouldn’t. I have a portion of the guest closet for ‘ebay’ things. It’s such an ordeal to put them up and ship out the stuff but satisfying to get a few bucks for things I don’t use. Hopefully someone needs a vertical chicken roaster!

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