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.