It’s about three weeks into my minimalizing, simplifying, decluttering, and reorganizing project for my room/house and my life – and I’m discovering many things, and figuring out many more. One of the first things I’ve discovered is that it’s not easy letting go of some things, especially if you have gone through periods of your life when things were hard to come by. For me, that was much of my younger life when I was first starting out on my own; and other times, like when I didn’t have a job when my daughter was very young. There were some tough times there when I honestly couldn’t afford to just go shopping. I had to be very frugal and get by on very little. If someone gave me something I could use, I was very grateful for it. Times like these make us value things in our lives much more than when things are easy to come by. So, this is something I must keep in mind as I’m deciding what I can or cannot live without. There are those moments of, “maybe I should keep that just in case….”, and that feeling can be hard to overcome.
One thing that helps me is starting a “Good Will Pile”. Now, I’ve done this on and off for years, but this time I’m doing it to a much greater extent than ever before. After all, I have been averaging a donation of at least one large bag per week: full of clothes, jewelry, shoes, books, etc. The way it works is very simple: I start the “pile” with an item I am ready to give away. Once the pile is started, I continue to add to it, and I’ve noticed something. As difficult as it may be for me to decide to let an item go, once it is on that pile, I’m done with it. There’s no looking back. I never need to rethink it. It really works for me to just get it on that pile!
One of the items on the pile this week is an old jewelry box that an ex-boyfriend gave me a long time ago. It’s a large one, with a couple doors, drawers, things to hang necklaces or bracelets on, and a ring drawer that opens down with slots for rings. I remember being so happy when he gave it to me. I thought it meant he really liked me. Well, he turned out to not be a very nice person at all, and he left me. We had been sharing an apartment together at the time, and when he left he took the one and only TV we had – even though he was moving back home with his well-to-do parents (in a house with several TV’s)!! For years, I have held on to this jewelry box, and when I would see it I would, inevitably, think about him. Now that the jewelry box is on the Good Will Pile, I can already feel the idea of him slipping away! In fact, I can’t wait till I go on my weekly run to donate so that I can get rid of the thing and never think of him again! It’s very interesting – the effect material objects have on us. And if we associate them with bad feelings or not-so-great people from our past, well then they certainly need to go. It really is true: out of sight, out of mind!
In the process of cleaning out the jewelry box, I found many items that I knew I would never wear again. I also discovered something else: I probably have enough earrings to last me for THE REST OF MY LIFE! Seriously! It’s unbelievable how many pairs I have, that I could never get to because everything was so chaotic as far as my jewelry storage. I’ve got things narrowed down, and have gotten rid of a lot of stuff I didn’t want, and now I can actually see what I’ve got and start using them.
On a final note, it’s already getting easier to get myself ready in the morning. While I still have a ways to go on the clothes, just the minimizing I’ve done so far has been a big help. Everyday when I think about the lifestyle I am choosing to live, I get a little thrill from it. It just feels really good – to know that I’m moving toward a simpler, yet more fulfilling life. And in the process – getting rid of some old baggage.