Hey, this assignment was made for me. A couple years ago I faced a rather huge move. Friends and relatives were called in to assist, some bringing boxes, tape and markers, others boundless energy and muscle power, still others advice on how to throw stuff away. For me, it wasn’t so much about throwing away—but selling in an estate sale, deciding what to store for 6 months, 3 months, one month, or take on holiday. Throw away? Nahhh, maybe I’ll be able to sell it or fit into it…after that it’ll go to Good Will.
What about non-wearable items: knick knacks, momentoes and curios? Or that hideous present that Auntie Lucille gave you when you were 12? Or maybe you’ve been loving some various items and have been carting them around for 40 years and 20,000 miles? Yep, that crap that’s been bubble-wrapped, coddled and stored in the corner of a dusty cabinet. How about getting rid of it? I don’t think I need to even ask my children if I should hold onto such ‘keep-sakes’ for them, their children or grandchildren.
So why do I keep such rubbish? Will my long dead ancestors leap from their respective graves or niches, droop from the ceilings over my bed whilst I sleep and cry “For shame, and here we trusted you with our treasures?” Maybe not. Rather I can imagine them saying, “Hey, I wish I’d done that when I was your age! Good riddance to dusty useless ‘Made-in-China’ garbage!” I’ve been carting around a tea set I used once when I was 15, and have been beholden to it ever since—it might be time to cut the ties.
Now let me say this: I sit on my couch, and right in front of me are shelves that hold momentoes—and I’ve got quite a mental grip on them. They’re me, or are remembrances of ‘us’, places I’ve been, people I’ve seen. Sweet things I love. So, there’s no call to throw them out, give them away or think of selling them. I feel no need to purge myself of them: they’re a fond memory and bring a smile to my face. In fact, this past weekend I spent a good part of my time framing and arranging photographs of my family; they’ve been stored in boxes and now it’s time for them to surround me on my walls. Yep, photos of friends and family aren’t knick knacks and would hardly be relegated to the dusty corners of a cabinet.
And what about garage or estate sales? Yep, I’ve been a part of a few too many of those. Sometimes you have to move on and it seems a good idea to acquire a few dollars for the move. And also, the whole of an estate sometimes needs to be broken down and drastically depleted—a disappointing end to the belongings of a lifetime: given over to strangers. That’s a cold wake-up call to putting a value on what you’ve been collecting, investing in or cherishing for decades. When it comes down to the hard sale? You don’t want to be around.
Freeing ourselves from the ownership and safe-guarding of possessions could open up whole new vistas of opportunity for peace and freedom.
[Img.Src: moving horses, collectibles, 3 siblings]