Hmmm… looks like the office might take more work than I initially thought. Either that, or I am seriously starting to lag due to insomnia. Perhaps it’s that. 😉 I just have to keep telling myself it’s a work in progress and that two years worth of crap cannot be cleared within a two, four, or even six hour period. *sigh*

At least DH moved around the furniture a bit so there is a lot more room and doesn’t seem as cramped. I’ve cleared out a few boxes as well as five giant bags of stuff. Amazing how so much can be recycled, donated or thrown away only to be left with maybe a quarter of stuff to be kept. WHY have I been keeping 3/4 crap for so long?

I think that’s what I find so fascinating as I have been clearing my house. How much of the stuff I held onto because I felt bad about giving it away because my mom or someone special had given me something, or that something had cost a lot to acquire but I no longer (or never did) enjoy the item. It has been surprisingly freeing to just get rid of stuff. Each time I fill a bag (whether to throw away, recycle or donate), I feel as if a burden is being lifted from my shoulders. That slowly, with everything I get rid of, I am becoming lighter and less owned by my things.

What’s that quote from Fight Club? “The things you own end up owning you.”

So true!

It’s funny, too, how my mother has reacted to my clearing out my house. She was not really happy about it! (Can you even imagine?) She kept saying, you never know when you might need these things or fit into these clothes again. It’s as if because I was so free with getting rid of my stuff, she felt I was judging her for keeping all of hers! Hey, she has a 4000 square foot house. If she wants to keep at least three decades worth of clothing (of which, I believe she really only wears maybe 1/20th), that’s her prerogative. But she’s lying to herself if she’s going to wear clothes from 30 years ago (even if they do fit).

I, on the other hand, am no longer going to be beholden to clothing or things that don’t make me happy to wear, (and as a result, languish in the back of my closet, taking up emotional and physical space) or use. That’s something that watching all those TLC shows has been helpful with.

From What Not to Wear, I got the idea of “Why would you have a closet full of clothes that make you unhappy when you look at them? Why have clothes that remind you of when you were thinner, younger, or prettier? Why have clothes that other people gave you (or that you bought yourself) that do not fit who you are as a person and make you uncomfortable or not yourself?”

From Hoarders, I am reminded of the fact that just because you get rid of something that someone you care about gave you, it’s not throwing that relationship away. (I have a particularly hard time getting rid of clothes or things my mom bought me with good intentions. But they either do not match my taste and are clearly hers, or that I have never needed or wanted or given a crap about.) Also, that throwing away sentimental items does not remove the good memories associated with them. (That’s hard, too.) Plus, it is a fight to combat the idea of “What if I need it someday?” And then, to pull back and think that if I truly needed that item in the future, how much would it really cost me to replace it? Usually, it’s only a little bit of time and MUCH less money. Toss it.

As this honing and culling process goes on, I feel more and more myself. Someday, perhaps I will truly get rid of all non-essential items, but there are just so many drawers that contain little items that I doubt this process will ever be finished. I can only hope that the lessons are not lost upon me and that I muster up the energy to spring clean at least once a year. (And if not, perhaps popping out two more babies will do it.)

Whew! This post neatly matches the title – it turned out longer than I thought.

(That’s what she said!)

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