Wednesday, July 18, 2007

three important words

PURGE, Assess, and Organize!

First off, probably no pictures on this entry because any documentation of what's going on would be too embarrassing. Here's the thing: For almost 8 months I lived out of suitcases. For 4 of those months I lived in a bed and Breakfast in the tiniest room you can imagine. Between my bed, a shelf, the crib and a tiny dresser, there wasn't space to walk. Needless to say that when Russ came at Christmas bearing gifts, I sent as much home as he brought down. After 4 months I moved into CasaBella, which tripled my space. So, when friends came bringing even more stuff, I had more space but found that I enjoyed only having what I used daily/weekly. Each person that came to visit left with full suitcases. I lived with very little possessions and got to a point where I hardly noticed.

Then I came home. We've lived in this house only 3 years, so surely we couldn't have accumulated that much stuff, right? Oh dear, I wish that were true. I walked in the house last Monday night to a very sparkly clean home. (Good job Russ!) Then on Wednesday our luggage arrived and I began to unpack. This is when I realized we had a problem. Every drawer and closet is already filled to capacity. And with what? Stuff. Stuff we may use once a year or not ever. Stuff. Errrrr. Where did all of it come from and how did we let it get this bad? If anyone actually tried to hang their coat in our "coat closet" I envision myself running in slow motion, jumping over Eliot and the coffee table, yelling "No" in a multi-syllablic form to prevent our visitor from opening the door and revealing our junk and possibly ruining our friendship.

So, as stated in the title of this entry: We have begun to purge. I was sharing this with friends from church a few nights ago and one of the men said something that stirred in me, "Well, you better get it done quick before you get used to it all again." Wow, that answered it. We'd gotten used to it. So far we've filed the trash bins and already made a trip of 8 full bags of clothes to Goodwill but we've hardly made a dent.

What is it about possessions that makes us hang onto them even though we know that they don't ever get used? As I took each item out of the closet, I would assess whether or not I might "need" it. There was a tiny battle with almost everything. Even with my t-shirt that read, "All college hike- 1998", I went back and forth of whether or not I might want to wear it as a nightshirt sometime or to paint in or etc etc etc. (As Russ started making fun of the fact that I should keep it to celebrate it's 10 year anniversary next year...hmmm, maybe I'll wear it while I'm going through his DC Talk posters in the basement...) Anyway, what is that? that struggle of "need?" The "well, what if...". What does that teach Eliot? With each closet and drawer full of items we don't use, we teach him that stuff matters, no matter what it is. Purpose or no purpose, it must be important or else it wouldn't be around. Blah.

Okay, I need to stop typing and open the drawer to the coffee table that's sitting in front of me. It's looming and needs to be clean and free.

11 comments:

Aunt Manda said...

I completely understand!!! I wish I had the will power to throw away things...I did throw away some before moving back...and I am going to have to get rid of clothes in my drawers to fit the stuff I actually use in them!!!

Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

In two weeks, it will be five years since I lost every item I owned in a fire. Feel sorry for me, nooooo! In an odd way (after you get over the grief and shock) it is very freeing. It IS just stuff. Other things are so more important. Trust me, the closets fill up again, with more little cars, trucks, and "boy toys" than you can ever imagine! So, start making room.......
Mama Z :-)

Sandra "Nana" Mohr said...

Ouch!! Such conviction.....but will it lead to a change in my ways?????? Hmmmm....

Erin said...

I tell people all the time that I am "anti-stuff," because I'm forever throwing something away.

Tell that to my basement that is full of boxes that have not been opened since I moved into the house 14 months ago.

yeah ... sure ... ANTI stuff...

(but I do still have my All College Hike shirts!)

Anonymous said...

It really happened! You're home, in your house, CLEANING! Russ was right! ;) ~Sharon

The Wagners said...

When your done purging yourself from your stuff, feel free to swing by the Wagner res and take any/all of our CRAP you would like. We could easily fill a mid to large sized moving van. I just can't get rid of my GNR t-shirts. Maybe I could sell them on Ebay with the DC Talk posters. Stay strong Pastor Katie. You gotta keep bringin' it. Hope to see the you, Russ, and E soon.

Chris, Michelle, Alex, ?

Amie Robertson said...

Oh man! Don't do this to me! I am a purging junkie! I have to purge on a regular basis, or everything just keeps piling up. You have inspired me to start looking for my junk again. Purging is SO freeing!!!

The ChipperSharps said...

Can you come over here when you're done? Chris (aka Imelda Marcos of the Purse World) is at camp and won't mind! Congratulations on finally getting home! He's a handsome little devil and you all look very happy. Life is good!
-Teri, Jan and Chris

Anonymous said...

You've inspired me! My mom and I joined together and had a garage sale in June and I feel like I got rid of SO much. Then I go in my basement which is still packed to the brim and realize how much more "stuff" I'm still holding on to. Grr. Luckily I live in an 80 year old south-city home, which is tiny and only has three closets the size of my BODY...so things can only get so bad before the "stuff" has to make its way to GoodWill! Okay, I'm going to go purge my bathroom closet.
Good luck to you, too!
<>< katie schaefer

Brad Edwards said...

Man, Hannah and I are moving and as the time gets closer and we start packing, I want to toss more and more. My drive is more out of laziness and not wanting to MOVE it, but I still get sicked with all the junk we hold onto sometimes. Seriously.

Karen Heyse said...

This is why the word SIMPLIFY.....is such a wonderful word.....
simplify |ˈsimpləˌfī|
verb ( -fies, -fied) [ trans. ]
make (something) simpler or easier to do or understand
You gotta love the freedom of an empty drawer ! Karen