This morning I had a really good clear-out. Now, a bag of trash and two bags of recyclables are waiting for the garbage trucks. In addition, I just took to the thrift store two boxes full of miscellany, a bag of clothes, a recycling bin full of pots and pans, and a George Foreman grill. And if feels soooo good! (Especially for ditching the George Foreman grill.)
When I moved here in November 2014 I fully intended to sort through the many boxes of memorabilia that I brought with me. They have been stored in the garage ever since. So, this week I began the difficult task of sorting through some of it.
I brought three of those boxes into the house and began the process of reading, taking a break, discarding, taking a break, saving, taking a break, and then taking another break because this process is hard.
I didn’t have a very good system for doing this so I ended up reading a lot of old documents from my children’s school days and feeling nostalgic. Nostalgia makes throwing things away very, very difficult. It is easier just to put it all back in the box and store it again for another thirty-five years or so. But, I persevered and have now reduced the three boxes to two file folders and half a box.
This inspired me to look around and see what else I could throw out and it turns out I have lots of things I haven’t used in ages. I decided to use the “joy” method for choosing what to take to the thrift store. That system comes from Marie Kondo who has blessed us all by providing an easy guideline for sorting: you simply ask, does it bring you joy?
Well, I had some old saucepans that had been collecting dust, a roasting pan that hasn’t been used in at least five years, some curtains I crocheted for a window in a house I haven’t lived in since 1994, a brandy decanter, a white wine decanter, a tall glass jar that was just for decoration, a pewter plate with the words “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou,” two packages of pretty glass pebbles, and a potpourri pot full of coloured rocks. Maybe they will bring joy to someone else.
I also sorted out lots of clothes that haven’t been used in years, including lots of scarves from the days when I wore scarves to work. Also in the thrift store clothing bag were some never-worn panty hose (remember panty hose?), some special occasion dresses I will never wear again, and even the outfit I got married in in 1975–including the hat! Yes, I have been packing that from house to house all these years. I have no idea why. It just seemed wrong to throw it out.
I couldn’t bring myself to ditch the Superman cape I made for my son when he was four, or the journal I wrote when I first visited California in 1973, and I am struggling to know what to do with a huge folder full of old love letters, but for now I think I am doing pretty well.
I would reward myself with a loaf of bread and a jug of wine, but I threw out the bread plate and the wine decanter.