Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate excess stuff. Not like in a zen way or anything, but watching Hoarders is like making me sit through a horror movie – I understand it’s a mental illness and stuffs, but it makes me break out into hives and bleach down everything from the cat to my bed. JUST IN CASE.
It doesn’t help the whole “I’m sick of stuff” that I have three kids who like stuff and a boyfriend who, while not a collector of stuff, has stuff of his own.
Well, in a couple of months, we’re moving out of my tiny, yet adorable one bedroom apartment into a bigger apartment to better accommodate the five of us (plus, let’s not forget) three wee cats. And this has kicked my “get rid of stuff” into high gear.
See, when I went through the divorce-move, I’d just sorta gone through the house that was no longer to be mine and threw things in boxes. I grabbed most of the essentials and things that were mine, but it was such a nightmare to even fathom not living with my kids 24/7, I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it to properly select items I may need. The future a nebulous and frightening uncertainty for me, I threw stuff together and wrapped it in packing tape.
My wonderful Prankster friends helped me get on my feet with items I didn’t own and couldn’t afford to own. Without you, I’d not be where I am today. Shut UP, I do not have feelings.
When I finally moved into the FBI Surveillance Van, I did the customary unpack and put stuff where it should probably go. I got rid of boxes, built furniture, and tried to settle in. It took months before the apartment began to feel like a place I lived and not just a hotel in which I was a long-staying customer.
Which is why I never REALLY bothered unpacking. I’d leave related items in 12 places; some drawers overflowing while others had were empty. I was in a state of deep and dark sadness and I didn’t quite care to make the house feel like an actual home. This only became worse once I got my job in Not-Chicago as the Director of Nursing.
The job, well, I loved it, but it meant long hours, being on call 24/7, seeing the sunrise on the way to work and set on the way home. By the time I made it home, it was all I could do to make dinner before going to bed. Not exactly living, if you ask me.
That all changed.
I found myself unemployed again, this time with a partner who lived with me, and I realized that I was holding onto crap, not for any weird sentimental attachments or anything, but because it was easier than dealing with it. Last week, I put an end to it.
I grabbed a bag for garbage and a handful of those super-sturdy black bags and went to town (although I did NOT meet Miss Brown)(sorry – I had to) on the house. Two overflowing bags later, it was time to make a trip for some Goodwill Hunting. I’d planned to simply drop the stuff off as I picked the kids up from school until I remembered their glee at hunting for treasures at Goodwill, much similar to my own.
So we did.
And it was that day that I realized that it was time to shed even more of the extraneous crap I had around. Not just because we’re planning a move in the next few months, but because I needed to take a good hard look at the things I truly needed rather than things that took up space.
I’m of the mind that things in my home should serve one of two purposes:
1) Be beautiful
B) Be useful
And by that token, I’ve set myself the goal of ensuring that I pull together at least one bag of items (no matter how small) to donate to Goodwill each week. They’re one of the best places to do a bit of “Goodwill Hunting” for things I may actually use, and I admire that they use almost every item that they’re donated. When I donate, it’s always to Goodwill.
Luckily, my kids are on board with the plan.
They love Goodwill Hunting almost as much as I do.
(and yes, I realize that I bring home MORE stuffs when I return from Goodwill Hunting, but at least these items are useful. Or beautiful. Usually useful.)
(MAN, I sound boring)
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