Deb: My husband and I called 1-800-Got-Junk yesterday and today they came and did as advertised—they carted our junk away. We started ripping our house apart a few weeks ago, room by room, step by step ... slowly I turn, sorry that’s something else.
At any rate, we cut through our house like a... (readers, please suggest great simile to be inserted here with your blog comment!). Anyway we did indeed cut through it like a (your suggestion here) and came out the other side with ten green garbage bags and five boxes full of stuff. The rest we donated or gave away! For example, our nephew is now the proud recipient of our drum set. I know, I know, but I did pull the drums into the living room this summer, and only played a few times. Plus for me, it’s the kind of instrument that I have to stay on top of constantly to make progress, and in order to make its space consumption worth it. The ukulele is now my joy and I find myself playing every day! Starting to learn Christmas carols now and I am sooooo happy! Hark the Herald Angels sounds so tropical ... and really really slow. Husband is thrilled!!!!!!!!
Aaaaaaand back to my point.
What occurred to me as the junk guys hauled away our junk was that I could already not remember what was in any of the bags. And that got me to thinking about the fact that six months ago this stuff was all precious must-keep stuff. And I say this honestly, given that my husband and I cut through our house twice a year more ruthlessly than a... (feel free to use your first simile or come up with a new one). Now the junk is gone, if you put a knife to my throat, I could not tell you one single thing that was so callously carried away. Clearly I have abandoned all ties with these items!
Isn’t that interesting? How is it, I thought, that something that meant the world to me months ago is now yesterday’s news. I thought of what a stuff vibe I get into. And the older I get, the more I hate it. Stuff, I mean. And you gotsta know that I loveeeeee me stuffs. But I am stuff maturing, I really really am! Barb is a great mentor for this as she tends to treat gorgeous stores like museums or art galleries, loving but not purchasing. My pattern has been to treat them like gallery gift shops!
As Christmas approaches I find myself wanting less and less stuff coming into the house. I asked for certain items, which I know I will love and need. I am working a wants and needs mashup. I want it to be lovable, usable or edible. And ultimately not disposable. I want what comes in the house to have a full life of adventure and I dare say “usary” and not be left wanting on the shelf like a stag prom-goer, torn dress and wilted corsage! Now many of you, possibly all of you are waaaaayyyyy ahead of me in the reducing stuff arena. But I am coming to it, yes I am.
So as I say a fond farewell to the (please insert an item from our junk), I say thanks to ... whatever the hell it was.
Barbara: Yes, yes, you know I hate gathering stuff. And yet stuff gathers anyway, like those ubiquitous dust bunnies under the bed.
I think I’m a pretty excellent purger, not nearly so nostalgic as many of my friends. I was ruthless as the kids grew through their various stages, purging old toys, books and clothing (yes, always donating!). But I still need to do the twice-yearly (insert the simile you’ve coined for Deb). Interestingly, one of the only bastions of piled up, gathering stuff that’s left now that the kids are moving on (bit by bit) is the kitchen pantry. Gone are the days—and they were legion—of eight, ten, twelve garbage bags full of uselessness. I still strive constantly to achieve less waste, less redundancy, less … stuff. Woo-hoo, Deb, it does feel great!