I have a few days between jobs, and I am cleaning. Generally I dislike cleaning. Organization does not come naturally.
One of my sisters moved recently, and I thought about how difficult it would be for my family to move at the moment. We have a lot of stuff that keeps accumulating. And on top of that, I have a general reluctance to throwing anything away.
So in this closet cleaning process, I have piles for donation, for resale, for recycling. But some things I will need to simply throw away.
Here are some of the things I've gone through already:
-a vase that was a wedding gift (never taken out of the box)
-a clock we got from the wedding that hasn't worked for over ten years
-coats I never wore
-a cheese plate that I never unpacked
-old medications and beauty products (lotions from ten years ago, etc.)
-old VHS tapes
-old VHS tapes that people gave us as gifts that were never watched or opened
And the list goes on. Sometimes I give things away, and then regret that choice. I worry - in downsizing - that I will give something away that I really want or need.
Without organization, however, I can't even find the things I know I already have. Anti-itch lotion is a perfect example - I had three unopened tubes in various places.
And the chances of me using that vase are unlikely - I thought it was ugly when I got it. I could have re-gifted - but it was too ugly to give to anyone I cared about.
My mantra has been that someone else can use it (this is true). That things can't replace memories. That if I haven't used it in the past year, it's on the list. If it doesn't fit or is broken, it's time to go.
I could so easily end up like relatives who had phone books from the 1980s (true story) next to extra cans of varnish. And drawers full of keys. I don't want to be that way. I don't want to put my friends and family through that.
It's a metaphor for life (of sorts). Periodically, it's important to re-assess and re-organize. To concentrate on what's important, and let the other stuff go.