Decluttering and sorting was harder than I thought it would be. Holding things and remembering the memories… “maybe it’ll fit me one day”, “what if I need it later?”, “I’m going to fix that someday”, “we worked hard to save for this”. It was incredibly emotional. We seem to hang on to some things because we’ve had them since we were kids and can’t imagine letting them go – never using them, but just moving them with us over and over again. Other things we hold on to because we got them as wedding gifts, bought on our vacation, or acquired from assorted auctions that we went together to bid on. They aren’t simply things, they’re memories.
My first marriage ended over a decade ago. I wanted so many of the things that we were arguing over, yet left behind more than I took. Fast forward to today: not one of those items taken remain in my life. The sentimental or monetary value suddenly dissipated and became reminders of the past in a way that I didn’t enjoy, and I felt a new weight from dragging them around. Purging has become a source of liberation and peace for me. Freedom.
Sweeping Up the Broken Glass
It’s an appropriate way to describe the feelings after a purge. Old clothes are donated to Goodwill, making room for new ones. Bone China that was used only at Christmas is sold on Kijiji – for a fraction of the investment – giving me an empty cupboard. Broken items are left by the side of the road and are now someone else’s treasure. The old bed looks incredible with a new coat of paint and a new mattress. Investment pieces are given away. You know, the thing you saved so long for – let’s face it, the money is spent and you had a time of enjoyment from this item. It doesn’t owe you anything. Taking a piece from the famous Marie Kondo, if it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go. Piece after piece, item after item gave me the feeling of walking on feathers. I took photos of the things I thought I loved and couldn’t believe I was parting with so I wouldn’t forget them. Even then, after time had passed, I found I didn’t even need the photos anymore.
It does get easier over time, but admit I had to call in the troops for help and concentrated focus at times. In the meantime, I found a hidden box of chocolates, so there’s that.