Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Been Thinking A Lot About This

It has been on our minds for a while.

reduce, cut down, cut back, trim, trim down, trim back, cut, bring down
It actually began years ago when we had to clean out my father-in-law's house after he died. It was not a huge house, but it was filled with lots of stuff. He wasn't a hoarder like on TV "reality" shows, but he did gather "stuff." At the time we talked about the issue and said we sure don't want to have our daughter go through with that.

picture from moving in 2007
We moved into an apartment a little less than 5 years ago and had our first experience of downsizing. At the time I said this on these virtual pages:
The apartment had ...the ability to "unburden" ourselves from some of the physical baggage we have been toting around. It actually feels good to think in those terms. It is time to help make life a little less cluttered. Why do we keep all those papers from seminary or college? What about those books that have some sentimental value but I know I will never read them again? (Jack Newfield's biography of Robert Kennedy for example. How old is that book anyway?)
We sort of unburdened but kept a lot (like that Jack Newfield book.) Lots of stuff went, but lots of stuff stayed in boxes in one closet or another. And then there's all those books on all those bookshelves.

Well, we are becoming more aware of it again. With my wife's retirement at the end of last year and my turning 64 next month, things like downsizing, uncluttering one's life, unburdening, all become reality tests. Which brings me face to face with my own style of hoarding, based loosely on an obsessive-compulsive soul, probably afraid of losing something important even though I haven't even been aware of its existence for at least 4 of the last 5 years.

I know, if you haven't used it in the past year (some say 6 months), get rid of it.

Easy for you to say.

But it also brings me face to face with aging, closures, moving on, leaving behind. Not easy topics.

I want to say to myself, "Just move on, will ya!" But it doesn't work. Or it hasn't yet. What if I get rid of that "treasured" memento from 1970? Will I even know it's gone? Will anyone even care? Will it mean that I have lost a connection with something or someone or someplace that I haven't had a connection with for 40 years anyway?

But this IS the time to seriously get on it and start doing it. No better time than the present I have always been told. I have my health and strength and time. Don't put it off, it will only get worse.

So I need to go to get ideas from places like Fly Lady's page. And right there she says this that gets my attention:
Clutter has been our security blanket for a very long time. It protected us from people, hard times and having to face ourselves....

If you are having anxiety attacks about releasing some of this clutter in your home; stop and think about what you are afraid of.

1. Is it the security of have 3 of an item, in case one breaks?
2. How about the memories that the item evokes when you see it?
3. And there is always the “Aunt Mary gave us this when we married.”
4. I spent a lot of money on this. I can’t possibly give it away.
5. Oh, I can fix this, but it has been in the basement for 15 years waiting to be fixed.

I want you to think about these reasons and look deep into the heart of them.
I get the picture, big and little. Now all I have to do is, well, just do it.

Wish me luck.

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