Do you ever get overwhelmed by your stuff? What to do with all your stuff...how you got so much stuff...thinking about all the other stuff you feel you need...how you just want to chuck all your stuff out the window? I do.
Our bed is currently surrounded by piles of stuff. I justify the stuff....it's stuff that will eventually go into bookcases. The ones we haven't built yet. And I start another pile of stuff next to the others because I don't have a place for the stuff yet. And the stuff grows and before I know it, I don't know what stuff I have.
We cleaned out the garage this weekend. It looked like this when we started....
Yup. Boxes upon boxes of STUFF. This is what happens when you move five times in four years and never unpack those boxes. You end up with a lot. of. stuff. Digging through each one was the kind of job that leaves your body and mind completely drained. Some boxes were filled with pictures and childhood treasures, and others made my heart sink. "What is all this stuff??"
It made me think about what we have. What we keep. Why we don't let it go.
It's so easy to blink and have a garage full of stuff...or a closet full of nothing to wear...or fridge full of nothing to eat. Sometimes too much stuff prevents us from actually seeing it...using it...enjoying it....being thankful for it.
It was so liberating to finally plow through those boxes, weed out the stuff, and keep the true treasures. We dropped off 2 carloads full of donations and there's another huge pile of donations on the curb for the monthly neighborhood pick up tomorrow.
I feel the literal weight off it off my shoulders...but some of it still in my back ;) And here's the thing. We've gone through some of these boxes before, but sometimes its a process to be able to let go of our stuff. When we were first married, the hubs had kept every. single. t-shirt and jersey from his football days. He was able to get rid of a couple the first time....and the next time a few more...and this last time, he kept just a few jerseys and couple t-shirts for when our boys are a little older. It all fits into one bin along with some other high school memorabilia and a few things from his time in the Marine Corps.
While I can toss things into a donate pile without a second thought, I had my own stuff to plow through too....every single letter anyone had ever written me during boot camp and my deployments, countless journals/notebooks, some things from my childhood, etc.
As we went through it all, I tried to imagine my kids going through this stuff later. Will they wonder why we kept such things and feel burdened in deciding what to do with them, or will they open a box to find a really cool piece of our family's story?
I tried to keep our history. The stuff that means something to us. And we let the rest go. If it was too much to store, then we had to pare it down.
Now, the garage still needs some work. All the organizing and prettifying are still on the docket, but the hard part is done.
I dont think we necessarily need to go dump all our stuff, but do you know why you're keeping yours? For someday. Just in case. Because it was a gift. That's why I keep ours. And it felt so good to part ways with the stuff we didn't love. I feel like I can breath again.
Sometimes, I go that place of "if only". Our house is in such a transitional state, with rooms half complete, and our time/resources to finish them often too short....if only I had the time to.....if only I could just get that one thing....if only I had the right tools to organize it all....if only I had just a little more......then what? I would be happy? I would be content? I would feel better?
"If only" just leads to more "if only". And sometimes the best medicine for the "if only's" is to give away the very stuff you're longing for. And gratitude. Gratitude can usually give "if only" a swift kick in the pants.
Now onto the closets and cupboards! I'm sure there's plenty more stuff in there that we really don't need.