For the last few weeks, I've getting my house ready to sell. And by "getting ready", I mean I've been decluttering and purging 10 years worth of collections, keepsakes, and unopened junk mail. 😳
I've moved fairly often throughout my own life. Counting the move out of my mother's womb, I've lived in 11 different homes. This will be my 12th move. (I know some of you have probably got me beat!? 🤭 )
As a child, I remember packing up my belongings whenever it was time to relocate. We didn't have much in those days, so it wasn't that big of a deal. In my late teens and early 20's, when I started working and buying things with my own money, I couldn't help but notice the burden of more *stuff* on moving day. When I began building my own household with couches, pots, dishes, and linens, the moves became increasingly more exhausting.
At that point I started really looking at the things in my life, and wondering why I was still dragging around that book 📗I'd really enjoyed reading when I was 12, or the 'Grade A' essays I'd written and couldn't bear to throw away, and the stuffed animals 🐻 that had no real sentimental value, but which I'd kept simply because I was in the habit of keeping them for so many years.
Slowly, bit by bit, I started letting those things go...
And then I noticed our children growing way too fast, and my business growing, and as I also felt myself growing as well, I noticed it had a ripple effect into my marriage, my family, and our entire lives. We realized it was time for a BIG CHANGE. A criss-cross the country sort of change.
We've had three children in this house - 10 years of marriage, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Every drawing, note, and item of clothing has been a treasured keepsake. It's been a long process sorting through the pieces of life, sorting through drawers, pulling out boxes, and opening the pile of mail that's been sitting on the kitchen counter for weeks on end... ✉️
I've hauled out so many bags for trash and donation, I've lost count now. There's still a bag of adorable baby clothes they'll never fit again, but it's smaller. There's still a box of sonogram images and birthday cards. I'll never let those things go, but many things I've kept out of habit are gone now. I've been ruthless in my purging, like never before, with thoughts of moving truck weights on my brain. 🚐
I think back to the gown I wore in labor, and how I tucked it away on a shelf for safekeeping until the next baby. I think of all the files filled with papers I convinced myself to keep, not to mention all the pens, glue, and staples we never use. I think of all the drawers, cabinets, and closets in which to hide trinkets, knick knacks, and novelties.
When we're not moving, those things stay where they are for YEARS on end, because there's no need to deal with them. When we have a place to settle down and call home, it's easy to hold onto everything, to find a place for all of it. Only when we're ready to MOVE do we realize how much space it takes up, and how heavy it is to drag around! It seems that the quantity of STUFF from my past which I'm willing to part with is directly proportional to how far I'm planning to travel. And that has been pretty powerful. 😊