When we moved a few months ago, we got rid of a lot of stuff. We moved to a slightly smaller place, so it was necessary, but part of it was also that we’d been in one place for a long time. A lot accumulates when there’s space and time, especially when life is busy. When it’s time to move, though, the question of “Do you care about this?” often got the response “Not enough to move it!”
I don’t like clutter. It’s frustrating for me. I can’t find what I want when I need it. Unfortunately, I’m good at making things cluttered. Items come into our house and I don’t find a place for them. The flat surfaces eventually end up covered.
It’s time to change. Whenever we move again, I have determined that we will not move a lot of stuff we don’t want or need. I’m starting slowly, just working on a small area. I’ve set up a better filing system this year so that when I bring in paperwork I need it just goes directly into the folder. I’m starting to go through books, slowly, to see what we will keep and what we won’t. I have a bad habit (which I’ve gotten better about) of wandering into a used bookstore, staying for a few hours, and coming out with a large pile of books. I do read all of them, but I often don’t care enough about them to read them again or even to give them to someone I know. These should really be donated. I’m also going through the boxes we haven’t unpacked yet to figure out if what’s in them is anything we care about or if they haven’t been unpacked because we just won’t use any of it.
It’s not necessarily comfortable. I like my stuff. It’s kind of like a security blanket. I think about moving it again, though, and suddenly it isn’t as important anymore. I want the next move to be as easy as possible, and the best way to do that is to only move what we want and need.
I’ve only gotten through a little of what I need to sort, but it is already making a difference in how I look at much of life. Do I want to buy something? Will I really use it? Do I want to move it in a year or whenever? I am not acquiring anything as easily and when I bring something home, it finds a place. I think I’m slowly rewiring my brain to stop being comforted as much by things. I don’t need them and I certainly don’t want to move them. I want to be less tied down. I still like having books and those will always be the biggest thing that we need to move, but I can pare down some and have the books we actively want rather than just the books that end up in our house.
It’s a new way of thinking for me. It’s spurred by moving but also by my recent surgery. I was irritated by some things when I came home, like the stuff on the chess table that didn’t need to be there and the piles of paper that I need to sort through. It’s time to clean up a bit.
This isn’t a New Year’s resolution. I’m bad at making those and I end up not keeping them. This is a lifestyle change, and hopefully it will stick.