Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whew! That's a Load of Trash!

We spent most of our day cleaning out our younger son's bedroom.  Wow...what a mess.  It really hasn't been that long...well, obviously it has been too long.  We found all sorts of interesting science experiments under his bed.  Things I definitely will not mention here.  But trust me, it was pretty bad.  After we picked up all the junk, and put away the stuff that actually could remain in his room, we had to get up all the powdery dust that had spread EVERYWHERE.  Apparently, our sweet, 11 year old son took it upon himself to throw a balloon of cornstarch as hard as he could against his wall.  And of course, the dust went all over the place.  We made sure he cleaned it up, but 'clean' to an 11 year old is quite different, and almost the opposite of 'clean' to you and me.  So the dust finally got sucked up in the vacuum.  We were able to get him to let go of a few things, to be donated to our local thrift store.  This is significant, since he has not thrown anything away - really ever.  We go in and clear out the junk every now and then, usually without him knowing, but he really likes to hold on to things.

I can hear my sister and mother laughing right now.  I just had a vision of me as a 4 or 5  year old, going to the airport with my purse.  Why I even had a purse is beyond me, but there it was.  It was black, with white stitching, an over the shoulder number with a cool magnetic catch.  I loved it.  I took it everywhere.  On this particular day, we were going on an airplane, and I was excited.  Then I saw we had to go through the airport security, opening our bags to be x-rayed.  All of a sudden, my chic-ness turned to horrifying embarrassment.  I turned to my sister - "What do I do?" She of course gave me that 'you are my younger sister and thus so weird' look, which made things worse.  I was quite concerned at what the x-ray would see me carrying.  In my little cute purse I had the strangest objects, apparently just there to weigh it down enough to stay on my shoulder: a pen, a ball, a fork and the ever important and truly necessary Elmer's glue cap.  Luckily, I was not subjected to any public display of questioning.  So I guess I had a tendency to hold on to things as well.

Why do we hold on to things?  What is it that we are really holding on to?  Some folks don't feel the need to have things around them as if to remind them of events and memories, but the rest of us seem to need them quite a bit.  Can you learn to reverse this habit?  

Do you live clutter-free or have you made peace with the mess?


L said...

We moved to a smaller place a little over a year ago and thus managed to fill every bit of storage to the gills with stuff. Recently I decided to go through it. I surprised myself! Things that I thought I just couldn't live without (most of which I hadn't seen in 7-10 years from the move previous to this), I either threw away or donated. It felt so liberating! And the funny thing is, I can't even remember what I got rid of! Guess it wasn't so important to hold on to.

Jill said...

I have things in the basement that I know I really don't need. Why do we do that?? Congratulations on clearing out! It's really challenging, but so freeing - as you said. What's the next project?