I am happy to introduce to you my friend, blog sponsor and mama extraordinaire KC Pagano from Little Homestead in the Desert.
KC has become a dear friend over the last few months and I am so pleased to have her guest posting here today.
During my recent visit back to my childhood home, I found several boxes I had packed away when I moved out. These boxes contained pictures, letters, journals and various paraphernalia from high school. I had taped them up so carefully and written in permanent marker that they were not to be thrown out! I sit here now ten years later thinking: I should throw all this out! I've read through the journals filled with teenage angst and think, if I could just tell myself that none of it will matter ten years down the road. The funniest part is that the me I read about in those journals is not the me I remember. The me I remember was so much more interesting than the boy-focused me in those journals.
I've come to the conclusion though, that stuff is just stuff. These boxes are filled with huge emotional baggage; baggage that I have long forgotten about. So I threw them all out! The only thing I kept were some pictures of my grandfather, who has passed on. But all the graduation stuff and movie ticket stubs, receipts and napkins from themed restaurants; all gone. Getting rid of things I didn't even remember I had put aside felt so good.
Having taken care of the past makes me want to move on to the present and get rid of things that may be bogging me down now, because after all, stuff is just stuff. And stuff takes up precious space and creates clutter. With clutter comes chaos and with chaos come stress. Our insistence on holding on to objects we don't use comes from a desire to see ourselves as something we thought we were (or think we should be), not what we are now. So now (hopefully) I can throw out clutter without the blink of an eye. Well, maybe a little blinking because it is covered in dust!
Amazing timing!!! I am about to begin a major decluttering of our home tomorrow. It will take time, but it begins tomorrow. Thank you for this post. xxooReplyDelete
Have fun Julie. I actually like decluttering, it feels sooooo good. Not always easy though. Hope the process goes smoothly.Delete
Good luck! I hope you feel lighter!Delete
This is just so true. I have been slowly trying to do the same thing. When it comes down to it, what really matters is where you are now and the people you share it with. Spend item doing stuff with them rather than worry what to do with your stuff.ReplyDelete
You nailed it Rosemarie. People will remember the things you did with them forever, long after the stuff has been packed away. Be with the people you love in the here and now.Delete
I wish my aunt could see that fact. She is a major pack rat. At least she has made the effort to start de-cluttering by getting one of those giant construction size dumpsters.Delete
I'm so glad this could be good timing! I'm so glad to be here again. Thanks Kim!ReplyDelete
Always happy to have you KC.Delete
Part of me wants to purge this stuff, but I also like having some of it around because it offers my children a glimpse of who I was before I became their mama....Something that they don't appreciate until they are older. I don't have all of it, but I've kept yearbooks and a few other things and since Jordan is graduating from HS this year, he's gotten a good laugh at some of it....especially the hair....oh lord! 80's hair!ReplyDelete
I totally agree, Melissa. My family always had pieces of themselves and of their families around our home when we were growing up and they helped me to feel a really strong connection to the past and to the generations that came before me. On the other hand, my husband's parents divorced when he was in high school and his mom proceeded to sell off everything in my husband's childhood home. Just invited people in and let them have at it. Family photos, precious childhood toys, everything. My husband does not have a single photo of himself as a newborn. Purging is great and I have done lots of it in my life, but always with a bit of extra care. Sometimes, these bits and pieces really do matter.Delete
I think this is important, to have a few things to look back at, things to share with future generations. I think the key is in knowing what to save and what to get rid of...that is definitely where the care comes in.Delete
I finally went through the last of my stuff in mom's attic last year. This is stuff that's been tucked away for nearly 20 years. The notes, the photographs and yes, the boy-focused journals. I did save some of the journals as I have a daughter to see through those teenage years (maybe my experience will give her perspective??) but everything else is gone. It felt good but I'm glad I saved it all to go through again.ReplyDelete
I thought about that too. Should I save these for my daughters? But then I thought, nah. I don't really want her to see all the silly boy angst. I had. I did end up keeping the journal I wrote during my summers as a camp counselor. Those were really interesting as they were filled with actual events.Delete
I have kept a journal from my childhood about the summer I spent in England. And I have all the letters I received from my penpal in Denmark...still hoping to get there one day.Delete
I think the experience of going through it all is fun and brings back a lot of memories. And I think that is part of what KC is trying to say in her post, you have the memories so really you don't need all the stuff to remember the past, it is all there in your heart.
Kim... thanks for hosting KC... I love both of your blogs!!! I just read a quote about a woman whose philosophy is keep nothing that you don't use. Last night I was wondering which friend I could invite to my house to help me purge! I often do well to start that process, but don't end up following through. hmmm.... the timing of this post might actually help me do it!! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Jules! My hubby is good about getting rid of things. He has no attachments to material objects. I like to think it keeps me in check.Delete
Haha KC, it is the exact opposite in our home. I pack up the boxes to be given away and a year or two later he brings something out that I thought I had gotten rid of...nope turns out it just moved out to the loft in his garage. At least it is out of our home :)Delete
Good luck with the purging Jules.
Great post, great guest blogger, and great host! :)ReplyDelete
I've found that I am able to part with items that may be sentimental to me or my children by taking a simple photograph. Seems like every holiday we are making some new creations and we just don't have space for them all. So, we keep the "special" ones and then I make sure to take lots of pictures of the ones that get passed on. We'll always have the memories of making them together looking back at the photos. Memeories are far better than 3 foot tall Valentine boxes with stickers and glitter on them collecting dust!
Awe thanks Kelly :)Delete
That is a great way to keep memories alive, love it!
AMEN! Saying good bye to clutter feels so good. Letting go of that attachment to the past to move into the future. Some of it is good to hold onto though, a reminder of where we have been and how far we have come.ReplyDelete
I purged last summer and we need to do it again. The house feels too filled up, I can feel the stress building.
Thanks for the inspiring words!
It does feel good, and it is amazing how it fills up again so fast. I too feel the stress when stuff builds up...almost like it is chocking me.Delete
Funny. I was just going through an old box of photos from my childhood today. They're not mine, they belong to my parents and I'll be returning the boxes to them, but I feel overwhelmed just weeding through all the 'ho-hum' pictures to find the real keepers. But that's a lot of life, isn't it? Taking some time now and again to sort through and prioritize what really matters. Thanks for the post!ReplyDelete
Perfectly said Amber.Delete
Oh, that purging can feel good! I too often get bogged down with the weight of it all. It's so hard to let go and yet...it's almost always better when I do.ReplyDelete
I think we just have to remember how good it feels when it's over, it makes the whole process so much easier.Delete