Since I have just gotten done packing and moving into a new house, I have had the opportunity to simplify and get rid of stuff.
And, yes, I do mean “opportunity”!
Moving to a new house means that you are forced to go through every single item that you own. You have to handle it and think about it before placing it into a box. This proved to be the perfect time to really consider what was worth keeping and what could go.
To give you an idea of how much stuff I got rid of I had 2 large garage sales, I emptied three full dumpsters before moving (and countless trashcans), I have given things away to friends like crazy, and I have made 3 trips to the thrift store since moving.
And I can’t tell you how good it feels.
I feel light. My house and the items in it feel manageable. And even after everything has been unpacked, I still have room on my shelves in a house that is 1/3 the size of the one I moved out of.
My life feels manageable again. When I was first on my own, several years ago, I was surprised to find a large amount of clutter in my house. In general, my house is neat and tidy, but at that time I found that closets and drawers were stuffed with years of “junk”. For me, this was a sign of what was in my heart: clutter saved for no reason that needed to be moved out!
As I started to move things out and really examine what I was keeping, my heart felt lighter. Mentally, life started to feel do-able again. For me, clutter is a sign that I am not dealing with things. I am shoving stuff in closets to be dealt with at a later date.
And I think most of us know that is not a healthy way to live.
My recent move entailed a lot of family items. My kid’s old toys, things from the time when I was married…5 bedrooms packed with furniture. It was emotional going through it all, but it was also cleansing. At first it felt like I was getting rid of memories, but it didn’t take long to grab hold of the fact that the memories all stay with me, no matter where I live. Memories aren’t in things…they live in our hearts. No one can take that away.
So, here I am in my new house. My house is 1/3 the size of the one I moved out of. Almost everything is unpacked, and I still have a little bit of room on my shelves. And I want to keep it that way. I don’t want to accumulate rooms full of dusty junk again.
I want my house to be full of items that I love and that I use. No more saving things for special occasions. The occasion is now!
Coming home to a simple life has taken some time. But the joy of getting rid of things far outweighs carrying them around with me for no reason. I feel free of the burden of stuff.
And who among us doesn’t want more freedom?