My Revolution: Part 1
I come from a long line of pack-rats & clutter-bugs. My grandparents are pack-rats, and I’ve heard that their parents were as well. My mom was such a perfectionist when I was growing up, that eventually she stopped trying to control the clutter because it was never going to be “good enough”. By the time I got to high school, I was no longer allowed to have friends over because my parents were so embarrassed about the house. For me, the cluttered, messy house was an outward sign of the mess our family had become & the emotional clutter that each member carried around with them. I told myself I’d never live like that.
It was pretty easy to keep my dorm room fairly neat, even without help from roommates. But when I got my own apartment, I realized that old habits die hard. The main living area of my apartments was in pretty good shape most of the time. If I knew someone was coming over, I could usually get the living room presentable in 15 minutes or less. The kitchen was never too bad (although the dishes tended to pile up – I HATE doing dishes). The bathroom was decent (some clutter on the vanity). But my bedroom & closets & any other space I could store stuff out of sight – DISASTER!
Every time I moved, I’d pack up boxes & label them “stuff”. You know: the “stuff” that doesn’t have a real home, “stuff” you might need someday, “stuff” that you can’t stand to get rid of for whatever reason. Each move, I accumulated more “stuff boxes” because I never emptied the ones from the last move! When I moved into my apartment on Quail, I finally came to the realization that I had too much “stuff.” I had a 2-bedroom apartment all to myself, and still had boxes full of stuff that had no home. The whole 2 years I lived there, I would occasionally tackle those boxes & get rid of some stuff. But it wasn’t until I was faced with moving into a tiny bedroom at a friend’s house that I realized something serious had to be done.
With determination (and more than one friend by my side to help) I began the First Big Purge. I filled up box after box of things to throw away, recycle, or donate to Goodwill. I probably filled half the dumpster at my apartment complex with stuff that I knew had to go. It was a painful, tearful, and stressful experience. But at the end, I felt such a release, knowing that I had just lightened my burden of “stuff” considerably.
When it came time to move out of Jessica’s house, I did another purge. This time it was because I knew that I didn’t want to bring the burden of my “stuff” into the apartment that Aaron & I would share as newlyweds. This crap was not allowed into my marriage! So I filled garbage bags. I hauled boxes to Goodwill. I put things out to the curb with “Free – Take Me!” signs.
to be continued…