About the time I got rid of clothes and trinkets from my past, everything went "retro" in fashion :). I collected things again and my house was robbed. Looked like a moving van crew had cleaned me out. Memories prevailed. Foolishly, I collected again and a tornado had its way with the collection. The dirty, dangerous clean-up time involved made me kick myself for the dust-collecting, moth-attracting junk I'd gotten larger quarters to hang on to again. I had clung to anything friends and family had given me. They still mean more than the items they sent me. What little I've collected this time is stored in large Sterilite boxes that are stacked high in a forgotten corner. Best I go donate these disaster magnets? ...... Rennie
--Rennie Tue Jan 23 15:31:25 2007
Heh, nice comment.
What unnerves me is the rate of acquisition. In 1999-2000 I was cohabitating with Mo in a tiny, tiny apartment. As far as I recall, we didn't use the basement for all that much storage. And this is isn't my first decluttering effort, though I hope it to be my greatest.
Right now the focus is on misc crap (mostly in this one closet), and clothes. Then I plan to turn my gaze to old video games, which can be tough for nostalgic reasons. Finally there will remain considering another pass at books...
--Kirk Tue Jan 23 15:50:04 2007
I think I too often decide to get rid of old stuff in order to feel okay about going after new things. It's akin to a flower vase that we fill, empty, fill and empty until we realize we could be happier by taking both vase and flowers to someone else. Then we sadly look at the space where the vase sat and go shopping for another vase.
But getting rid of things isn't just like creating a void, it's like chopping off pieces of ourselves. That stuff is who we are at the moment.
Which brings to mind, since 1989 I've gotten a bit more comfortable with stark, uncluttered hospital rooms and having too many surgeries. Since I don't care to permanently move into a hospital room or live in a dorm existence again, I leave each hospital incarceration with the memories of the smiles on the hospital staff's faces. I send the books and magazines to their library. I use the old video games as stocking stuffers. THEN I go shop!
Think in positives. Think of all the great exercise you're getting in moving those things back and forth. :-) ...... Rennie
--Rennie Tue Jan 23 16:50:10 2007
Well, obviously the surgeries aren't fun.
There's cerainly a sense of self that we carry in our possessions; in my case, that's most poignant with books.
Also, it's a sometimes painful acknowledgment of our finite natures. If we had unlimited time and attention, many more of these items would be worth hanging on to. But we don't. We're compelled to discriminate, to exercise diligence in how we alot our limited ability to pay attention.
--Kirk Tue Jan 23 17:01:15 2007
Yesterday was my husband's birthday. I had problems with what to do with his things when I became his widow. I moved into smaller quarters. As I tried giving his things away to others, I began to think what it would be like for someone disposing of my things.
Some grieving friends wanted something to remember him by at the time. Others declined by saying they would rather keep his memory and not collect his former possessions.
I donated many items that could be useful to charities and someone I didn't know. On the way to one donation center, I stopped at an estate sale (bad habit) and listened to some browsers chat about items for sale.
As a result of what I heard, I realized better that we think we are defined by what we have. But others deal more in the problem process of disposing of what we collected and how we took care of this stuff. They are burdened, bothered, limited in their own quality time so that they can fix a price on this stuff.
In other words, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" and vice versa.
Hurt to think that my school letter jacket, that my father made an extra effort to get for me, was only tossed on a "make offer" table by someone else. Whether I wore it again, or not, was not the issue.
The memories mattered. So, I took photos of things that mattered in later years. The tornado, and torrential rains after, made bricks out of those photos. I also had to wind-up burning over 3,000 books that also got wet and dried into bricks. Lovely night fire, on an extremely cold night as we talked about memories then.
The pain is often in the efforts that don't succeed. However, I'm smiling now from having some good memories jogged. Thanks ...... Rennie
--Rennie Tue Jan 23 17:47:42 2007
My mom has explicitly said to me something along the lines of "hey... you know all those piles of travel photos I have? if something happens to me, don't feel compelled to keep those around in my memory / my behalf, they're for my own pleasure in this lifetime, and I don't sweat any use beyond that."
--Kirk Tue Jan 23 23:21:03 2007
Another person around with their space to consider often provides motivation to keep things less cluttered. At least, from my experience.
--The_Lex Wed Jan 24 08:04:20 2007
Well, true in the "housemate" sense, not so much in the "shacked up" sense, where the overlap of possessions makes it tough to start plowing through stuff... it goes from a one person chore to something two people have to consult with each other on.
--Kirk Wed Jan 24 08:50:25 2007
Try moving cross country. Got rid of tons of stuff. . .but it became more of a what do we use, what do we not use? Also what will I actually use, and what do I want to use? Then there's the what works and doesn't work? And partly specialized for my coupling, what's up to date and not up to date? Then there's also what will match the room's scheme and not match the room's scheme?
At some point, I even just gave up on a lot of decisions. . .just kept what was necessary now and caused a strong emotional reaction, as in, CRAP! IF I DON'T HAVE THAT TOMORROW OR IN THE NEXT MONTH, I WOULD HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS!!
--The_Lex Thu Jan 25 07:58:12 2007
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