Clutter . . . or how to shift the stuff that no longer serves me
Well, I've decided to take my steps to clearing clutter to the next level. Wanna play along?
I am one of those people that keeps things because A.) I might need them someday, and B.) they hold some kind of sentimental memory value, or so I tell myself.
I can connect my 'save it for a rainy day' mindset to growing up with parents that were products of the depression. My dad was born in 1932 and my mother in 1938. Around my house there were always these beat up cardboard boxes that seemed to move from house to house with us. Old cancelled checks and bank statements, old letters and postcards, you name it, it was probably in one of those boxes. I used to rummage through them as a kid to see what was in them. Once I even found an old ration book of my grandmothers.
For those of you that might not know what that is, its you can learn more here http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_ration_book and here http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/njwomenshistory/Period_5/ration.htm .
In a nutshell they were issued in World War II to control the use and price of things.
It was a really neat piece of history along with all of the old postcards, but did it really need to be in one of many cardboard boxes that moved from place to place?
In my parents case, yes. You never knew when you might need it someday, whatever 'it' was. And that makes me smile thinking about that because these days one of E-Bays advertisements it geared to finding 'IT" on E-Bay.
Clutter Keepers of the world unite and buy it on E-Bay.
Anyway, that is the keep it for a rainy day mindset.
The other as I mentioned is the sentimental value thing. My parents did this too, for any number of reasons.
My dad came from a family of 12 kids and not all of them made it and his grandparents before him lost even more family members to influenza in the early part of the 1900's. Keeping things that belonged to someone you loved was a way of hanging on to them. Or so they thought.
He was a child of the depression and knew about loss and rationing, i.e. 'there is not enough' as a thought process. He was also in the Korean War as a combat infantryman and I know from his stories that he saw and lived loss all around him.
He brought that back home with him and it of course flavored his life, and through him, ours.
My mother had her own version of the story. Her own mother died in her 30's from cancer and many of the children were in foster care for a time. They knew loss as well.
All of which can lead to holding on to things to keep a connection to who you are, or to keeping things to make sure things stay the same. A safety net if you will.
Which leads me to present day. My parents handed down this gift and here I sit with a portion of the lower level of my home, awaiting the completion of a remodel, when I finish going through the things that I have in assorted cardboard boxes, and the modern day equivalent, the trusty, Rubbermaid ® Tote!
Can anyone relate????
I have other family members with similar collections of stuff and I use the word 'collection' loosely.
I'm a grown women. A coach, a healer. I know what excess 'stuff' that no longer serves you can do in your life (more on that in another post).
So why am I life, imitating the ‘art’ of my parents?
Lots of reasons which I will explore over the course of the next several weeks . . . umm, actually, that could be months . . .
A jumping off place for me in this is my own experience of loss. . . my dad was a Korean War Veteran and he brought home that pain with him, and loss is what he talked about, both in words and by his actions. He lived, ate, and breathed it, and so did we.
We moved around to more homes and schools as kids than I think a regular Army family (he was out of the service by then so the moves were not about that).
In my late teens my youngest brother drowned in an accident. In my early 30's another of my brothers was killed in a car accident.
Can you start to see any patterns?
So if some part of your house, garage, or office needs a TomTom ® to get around in, join me as I share with you my journey from cluttered, to clear.
I'll be going on over to the boards and posting this as a goal as well. Setting a structure for myself to hold me accountable for this. Feel free to do the same. There is strength in numbers.
Here are a couple of books to get you started.
'Organizing from the Inside Out' and 'Time Management from the Inside Out', both by Julie Morgenstern. Owl Books available in paperback.
The time management title belongs here too because if you can relate to what I have shared, then you KNOW how much time you give away to the clutter in your life.
I've got both of these books and it is time for me to read them (verses just paging through) and take comfort and action in the advice contained within.
Now which tote has the winter stuff . . .