“I’d rather have extra space and extra time than extra stuff”
Another Sunday of going through boxes and closets finding stuff and items that we no longer need and/or want. We found swim trunks, jeans with holes, sweatshirts with rips and crap that just needed to go. This process has taught me to think about my purchases and gifting habits. I have not bought anything from a department store or Target all month because I don’t ‘need’ it, I just want it. (With the exception of cat litter)
I grabbed my junior year prom dress and said, “Well, I guess this is goodbye. Enjoy another formal dance with someone else.” I placed on the pile and walked away. It was like I was saying goodbye to an animal or something that could actually feel my feelings. Why was I so attached to this dress? It had been sitting in the closet for years and is not a dress that can be cut short for a cocktail party. I said goodbye to a memory but I could do it, I just had to walk away. My husband walks into the room and says, “Oh no! You’re getting rid of your junior year prom dress? I love that dress! I think you were wearing that dress when I decided that I did truly love you!”
I had just finished my quick goodbye with an article of clothing and he has to walk in and make me second guess this decision! Now, I felt even more attached to it because someone else was attached to the emotion and feelings behind it. It is okay to donate my feelings, but should I be donating someone else’s feelings too? In a panic and worry that it would be going back in my closet, I said so quickly, “Nope, this needs to go! I haven’t worn it in 9 years and it needs to go. We have many pictures of me in the dress, that should be enough!” I grabbed it away from my husband, stuffed it down into a box and taped it shut.
There. Next box.
I knew this challenge would get hard. I knew that I would find stuff that had been sitting for years and some stuff we just don’t need them anymore and others would start hitting me harder. When we moved into this house, we had small boxes that went on the top shelf in our closets with all intentions to go through them once the rest of the house was unpacked. Today I grabbed a small box and looked inside. I went from content and motivated to sad and teary almost immediately.
Inside that box was all of my trinkets, bobble heads, baseballs, and other baseball memorabilia. I was sad because I knew that some day, either in the future or right then and there, I would have to decide if these items really have a meaningful purpose in my life. I put the box down and picked up a few items. First I grabbed the t-shirt. Oh, an old college t-shirt, this should be easy to donate because I know we have at least one more of these somewhere. The shirt was heavier than expected so I unfolded it and found the item hiding inside, protected and cushioned from anything that could have bumped it. A scale replica of Target Field. For some people, that might be an easy toss. Who needs a little model of a baseball field? I remember getting that on the fourth home game of the inaugural season and I stood outside the gates with my mom waiting because we thought we needed this model! We needed to be in the stadium and hold a little stadium in our hands. I wanted to keep this. I wanted to keep the memory.
I put the model down and grabbed a few baseballs and other memorabilia from the All-Star game that came through Minneapolis in 2014. Should I get rid of these? I went to that game, I won this a ball, I ate ice cream out of this hat; I need to be reminded of that feeling and happiness every time I look at these items! There was a TC bobble head, our baseballs that are in plastic cases, and things that had a lot of meaning to me. This box that always made me happy was suddenly making me sad because I knew that some day, those items would have to go. Some day those items would be finding new homes or be passed onto others as gifts.
I wrapped everything back up and put the box away. I’m not ready for that some day yet.