The benefits of living in a home for over 35 years is that you don’t have to pack up your stuff very often and move. The drawbacks of living in a home for 35 years is that you don’t have to pack up your stuff and move.
Let me give you an example of the level of excess going on in my home. At Christmas time I decided to decorate a small fake tree. Thanks to practicing the art of “out of mind…must not have one so go buy it syndrome” I purchased a new small Christmas tree. I then logically thought I needed ribbon and decorations for this tree, so purchased them as well. In the back of my mind I knew if I wanted to dig through the black hole under the stairwell I would find enough holiday knick knacks to put everything together, but I decided on all new this year since 2020 had been less than stellar.
Sharon and I agreed to “creating space” as our topic for January 2021. We alluded to the topic in our second podcast titled “Obligations, Traditions, and Making Space for Joy”. New year, new decade might as well clean the slate to gain some much needed space. What I didn’t count on was the level of work it was going to take to tackle this properly. I have attempted to “downsize” my possessions in the past and they just seemed to creep back into my house and life. This time I wanted to be more purposeful and permanent with the attempt.
Like in the past, I started with a list of things I needed to buy in order for this to be a success. I needed storage bins, shelves, organizers and so on. I was about to go and purchase these things and then stopped…wait a minute, isn’t the objective to get rid of stuff instead of get more stuff? I had to think about this, my past behaviors and determine that I didn’t need anything but strength, determination and will power to get this party started.
Why do we always start with the physical and tangible things when we decide to create space in our lives? I have a theory, it’s because we can see the carnage. Well, let me clarify, we can see the borders of the carnage, what’s underneath is anyone’s guess.
The door under the stairs leads to a magical place of mystery and intrigue. Actually, it leads to a whole lot of things that haven’t been interacted with for two years or more. There is a couch in front of the door with many other items to prevent me from easily opening it. Baby steps everyone, this is a big project here. I pull out everything and try and organize it into piles of keep, throw away, sell and give away.
I soon realize I have four Christmas trees plus the one I just purchased. To some that might not seem like many. To me? I had no idea that I had bought – some time in the recent past – almost exactly the same small tree I bought this year. I had almost 40 rolls of ribbon. Again, I had bought more ribbon this year. I am not going to go item by item here. Let’s just say there was a lot of stuff hiding in that magical black hole.
To make this easier on myself I have committed to a little less everyday for 30 days. So far? This is day 3. I have kept a little and made several trips to the Goodwill Store so that someone else can enjoy my excess. I have been brutally honest about if I really need something or not. I am leaning toward the “not needed” pile. Wish me luck. I am hoping it won’t take all year to complete this mission, and for now, I have committed to 30 days. I thought I would let you peek into my stashes just a little, so enjoy the excess while it lasts.