For the last year or so I’ve been feeling very compelled to get rid of “stuff”. Stuff has always pervaded and overwhelmed my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve been trapped by consumerism and consumption, and I’m a sucker for all things sentimental, and attach sentiment to lots of things. My husband and I have always lived in larger spaces than we’ve needed, even though it’s just the two of us, because we’ve needed extra space for our stuff.
We have stuff in rooms we don’t even go into. We have stuff in boxes we haven’t unpacked from three moves ago. Yet we keep lugging it around with us wherever we go. Though it has felt burdensome and like a sickness for years, I’ve been attached to it, like it is all a part of me. And I know that is a lie. And after being with it for a year, I’m finally feeling the courage and motivation to root out this disease from my life.
When I imagine my life with empty rooms, I feel lighter and more peaceful. Ironically, I’m very sensitive to aesthetics and atmosphere. Beautiful surroundings does wonders for my soul, including cleanliness, orderliness, beautiful tapestries and visual art, uncluttered areas, and color palettes. Yet, I’ve never lived in a space that would be described this way. I’ve wondered what my blocks are, and why I have not been able to achieve this simplicity and beauty in my life.
One major idea is that I’ve come to realize that I associate cleaning and organizing with anger and punishment, a feeling that goes way back into childhood. Also, because of my sentimental attachment to everything, I feel like I can’t let go. Like if I don’t have these physical triggers, how will I remember my years gone by? What will I have to pass on to those important to me? Sentimental trinkets are my stories. With this combination, I have created clutter and chaos, and it is no wonder I have been stuck in my life, as this disease has reached its tentacles in and around so much of my life.
After so much thought and visualization of what it would feel like to be able to detach from stuff, I yearn for that feeling more than I feel the need to hang on. And today the first-fruits of this physical manifestation has taken place.
I put pressure on myself to get a certain room done today, and I noticed that I was resisting and procrastinating all day. So, instead, I asked myself what could I work on today? My mind went to one of the smallest spaces in the house, my closet. So I went to work in that area, where it felt the least overwhelming to me.
I don’t care too much for fashion nowadays. I like to be comfortable, and my life has changed so much, I don’t have a place necessarily to wear high fashion. I live in the boonies with horses, ducks, chickens, stray cats, and my dog. Fancy clothes or heels aren’t part of my life so much. So I started by getting rid of things that didn’t suit my lifestyle anymore. I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to get rid of the cutest shoes ever. But when they’ve collected dust because they haven’t been worn in years (in some cases), it becomes ridiculous to think of hanging on to them for that one time that I might possibly wear them. The feeling of having them gone, feels better than them taking up space and looking cute.
Yes, even these. Aren’t they so pretty?!?!?! Well, it’s time they be pretty on someone’s feet, and not in my closet. If you look close enough, you can see the dust in the picture.
I can remember each instance of buying these. The middle one was with my sister while we were shopping together in a consignment store. The pink slipons on the right, I wore to a good friend’s wedding in 2001. I think I only wore them one other time. They are so pretty and delicate, which is why, other than the sentimental value, I kept them, but they hurt my feet like hell, so that is why I only wore them twice.
And now I’m looking at the black ones in the picture, thinking, dang those are cute! and am tempted to take them out of the ‘get rid of basket’. But again, I can’t remember how long it’s been since I wore them, so no, they have to go.
I literally emptied half my closet and dresser drawers. Mostly stuff I just haven’t worn in a long time, or stuff that I was waiting to fit into again. Right.
How many pairs of jeans does one need? I had 12. Ridiculous. I got rid of 7. Let’s face it, I wear the same few 80% of the time. It feels better to get rid of these than to have options the other 20% of the time.
This shirt. This was given to me in 2005 by a dear friend just after I moved to Utah. I love this thing!! It’s so cool! But it didn’t fit me then, and it surely doesn’t fit me now. I’ve waited many years for this to fit me. Dang it. Cute, and dear to me. But it’s time it be cute on someone, and not cute taking up space in my closet. : (
And so the journey starts. I’ll go room by room, getting rid of as much stuff as I can stand to part with, and separating myself more and more from the consumption disease.