Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cleaning out the closets

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.

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

It is great to get rid of stuff. This is the first year that I really have to think about it. It has always come so naturally, because I have moved almost every year of my life.