I read a short story recently where one of the characters, an older woman, had a spare room where she kept much loved items that friends — who were downsizing or moving to nursing facilities — gave to her for safe keeping. Things they didn’t want falling into the hands of people who wouldn’t appreciate the specialness of these items. This woman had a room that was full of other people’s cabinets and collections and curios and china.,
While I’ve been decluttering, I’ve realized that I’ve become the keeper of the family “things.” Furniture, musical instruments, china, photographs, books. I don’t want to become the woman in the story with the room dedicated to polishing someone else’s keepsakes. This story gave me food for thought. What is worth keeping? I’ve already decided I want to clear out my excess stuff so people who come after me don’t have to make decisions about what to do with my things. But what do I do with the things I’ve accumulated that have meaning to me, but maybe not enough meaning to keep hauling them from one house to another.
Interesting how random things like this short story I stumbled upon will pop up at opportune moments.
One of the things I’ve found most helpful in this current round of decluttering is to keep in mind WHY I’m decluttering. There have been times when I decluttered just to gain more space or for things to look nicer. This time the reason is more pressing. I’m preparing to move to a smaller space.
Yes, I’m in that stage of life where a four-bedroom home with two dining areas really no longer suits me. Lots of extra space that’s not being used by anyone and never will be.
I’ll be moving at the end of the year to a new place that’s considerably smaller, so I’m going through every nook and cranny of my current house and parting with everything that I don’t want to have move with me.
So why am I decluttering? Preparation for a move. Which not only gives me a reason for decluttering, but also gives me a timeline for finishing. I have plenty of time, but I don’t want to shrug it off and wait until the last minute. So I find it helpful to keep in mind the WHY and the WHEN. I don’t want to move, hauling around a bunch of unneeded stuff. And I want to be ready to go when the movers show up.
I think keeping in mind the WHY of projects could be helpful in more areas than just declutter. What’s the WHY for your latest project or big chore?