There is nothing like moving to make me really evaluate the stuff that I consider to be worthy to be stored in my home. As I have been packing, I have tried to clean out my non-essential possessions even more than ever. This is very difficult for me, as I am the rattiest of all packrats. I keep a pretty tidy house, most of the time, so the fact that I have this disorder may come as a surprise to some.
My latest attempt at curbing my saving habits was to buy one big Rubbermaid bin to hold all of my memorabilia. If it didn’t fit in the bin, I couldn’t keep it! This forced me to get rid of tons of my school-days souvenirs, from my first grade math papers to most of my college notes and course packs. I found all sorts of things I’d forgotten about, from the nostalgic (my GT and the Halo Express tapes) to the hilarious (the notes I received in high school…you know the kind…they’re written in marker, folded in a triangle, and contain profundities like “Hey what’s up? I am sitting in Spanish right now and I am so bored!”), to the scary (school pictures from 9th grade). I think I have now sorted through the LAST box of memories, and it is all in the bin. Yes, Stephen, it is okay if I have to sit on it to get the lid to latch.
Anyway, I call myself a “reforming” packrat because I have been compulsively reading organizational magazines ever since I considered the reality of our new, slightly smaller house (I figure, if I pack the house to the gills when I move in, there is no room for a baby later on! Although I’m not pregnant, Clint, there’s nothing like the thought of little Junior to motivate me). So I’m kind of getting attached to the idea of being such an organizational maven that I never have to go through a purging project again. Here is my vision:
I will only touch mail once. Junk goes in the trash, sentimental letters go in my “save” bin, and bills go in my organized red expandable file folder.
If I happen to walk past a decorative item that no longer brings me pleasure or fulfills a practical function, I will get rid of it immediately.
I will always hang up my clothes when I am finished wearing them.
Everything that I need daily will be in a very accessible space. Everything that I need often will be barely out of my way. Things that I only need once a year will be stored in the attic or in cleverly disguised storage such as my coffee-table trunk.
If I do not enjoy wearing an item of clothing, I will give it away to charity immediately. I will not keep it, hoping that later on it will fit better, and I will not give into guilt feelings because I remember the person who gave said item to me.
I will be able to have all open cabinets in my kitchen because all of the shelves are storing my necessary items in a way that is efficient and also aesthetically pleasing.
I will view my childhood memorabilia in an objective manner. I will be considerate of my offspring who will have to sort through my belongings after I have died (since, apparently, I can’t take ANY of it with me).
That’s all for now. I don’t want to get too ambitious and set myself up for discouragement later. After all, I am reforming, not rehabilitated…yet.