First world problem – I have too much stuff. Too many shoes, way too many clothes, and things in my linen closet I haven’t touched in years. What to do?
Purge. Repeat. Purge again.
Mike and I are going from a three-bedroom, 2 ½ bath home to one very small bedroom in my mother’s townhome. Oh, sure, we’ll have the run of the house, but only the bedroom will be ours alone. Except for the couch and loveseat. We bought the set a few months ago, after saving diligently for it. I am not only reluctant to give it up, I refuse to do so. The child in me stamped my foot and said, “No! I want my own couch!” Besides, I hate my mom’s sofa. It’s uncomfortable. But I digress.
Step one: reduce clothes and shoes. I spent a weekend pulling each item out of my closet and determining if I loved it, hated it, or tolerated it. Anything less than love went into a donation box. Same with the shoes. What a great feeling to know I’ll be helping women by giving good, professional clothing to those who want a new start.
Step two: reduce jewelry. Hmmm…not as easy as the clothing. Many of my necklaces I either inherited from my grandmother or were given to me as gifts. Not to mention the ones I bought in Spain or Switzerland. I still have charm bracelets from the two times I went to Europe with my parents. And the one my grandma brought back for me from the Holy Land. And the one my mom had when she was sixteen. I never wear them. But how can I part with them?
With a sigh, I put them in a bag to give to my granddaughters. I’ll let the girls decide which ones to keep.
Step three: clean out my cedar chest. This was more than difficult. I’ve been holding on to my own baby shoes since my mom decided she didn’t want them. I have the outfit I wore when I was baptized as an infant. Plus every single card that we received after our son, Bobby died. Seven. Years. Ago.
Those had to go. I just couldn’t see holding on to them. For what? To be sad all over again? I read them all, cried over my loss, and set them aside for the recycle bin.
I have a half dozen pair of vintage (from my grandma, who was born in 1903) evening and day gloves. Remember the photos you see of the women in the 50’s, going to church in a hat and gloves? I have those! What does one do with six pair of elbow-length white gloves? With a shrug, I put them back into the cedar chest.
Next weekend will be less emotional. I hope. It will be time to tackle our office and all those books we’ve had since the dawn of time.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of a New Season of Caregiving.
Jane S. Daly is the author of two books, Because of Grace (2015) and The Caregiving Season (2016). She is also the treasurer of Inspire Christian Writers and West Coast Christian Writers.