One thing we loved about this house when we bought it was its abundance of storage space. The big closets, built-in drawers and shelves sure come in handy.
The downside of all that storage space is that you can hold on to a lot of stuff without even realizing it.
I cleaned out some drawers that, I realized, I hadn't touched since we
moved in more than a decade ago. At least one object, a novelty key
chain, I had no memory of ever seeing before. Obviously I stuck it in
the drawer as soon as I got it, not knowing what else to do with it, and
there it has resided ever since.
My philosophy today was, "If I haven't even looked at this stuff in all these years, I have no need to hold onto it now."
been surprised by the amount of stuff I have, because--except for
books--I don't really buy a lot. I rarely shop. I don't salivate over
material goods. But I'm realizing that I have a lot of stuff not because
I buy frequently, but because almost everything that has come into this
house over the years has stayed here. I rarely got rid of anything.
go of all this stuff now is alternately freeing and anxiety-producing. I
think that one reason we stockpile things and cling to them is out of a
fear of scarcity, a fear that our needs won't be met, that we won't
have enough. I'm speaking here of emotional needs too, not just material
After weeding bagsful from my closet, I have been
rejoicing in its cleaner, less cluttered appearance. There seems to be
more breathing room. Some items were really a delight to shed: items I
wasn't wearing anymore, but felt guilty for not wearing because they
were still in good shape. And even though I felt some pangs of anxiety
about the volume of material I was eliminating, I also marveled at how
much I have left. When I arranged my clothes so that I could see all of
them, and I took stock of what I actually have, I realized that I have
plenty. I have enough.