Full disclosure: I tidy up on a regular basis. I update, reorganize, recycle, repurpose, and “clear the decks” all the time. What I’m talking about here is more of a “spring cleaning” . . . one that is about three spring seasons overdue.
For example, several years ago I sold my house in New York and though I did a moving clean-out and meticulously packed everything that remained, I still have some boxes that have never been unpacked. Some because I just don’t need the contents anymore, and some because I don’t have the proper place for them right now.
Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. —William Morris
But it isn’t just the moving boxes that need a thorough sorting through. I’ve changed my life in the last several years and I think that there are “better homes” for many of the things I own. While I have always tried to follow William Morris‘s advice, some of my things will likely be more useful to someone else. As for the beautiful things, I’m happy to share.
With all that said, I’ve already made some strides to clear out the surplus from my life. As I go through things I’m deciding what to keep and how to categorize everything else: donate, sell, and recycle (and “recycling” includes actual recycling, as well as repurposing, and gifting).
There’s also something liberating about paring down you personal inventory. (I guess Marie Kondo really was onto something.) Very often people hold on to things for sentimental reasons—I know I do. And some, if not most, of those sentimental keepsakes will survive my “spring cleaning.”
But some sentimental mementos have an expiration date. Sometimes we need to hold onto things until we have learned what we need to learn from the emotional connection it holds for us. Then they can move on and hold another meaning for another person.
Cycle of life. Or cycle of stuff, as the case may be.