Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tuesday Slice: Downsizing


My father and his wife have ordered their Thanksgiving dinner premade, and will be spending this week, including Thanksgiving Day, continuing their decluttering journey towards an eventual move into a retirement community.  (There are no hard feelings here; we will be seeing each other in a few weeks for my son's graduation from college.)

In my attempts to straighten up my house a bit before the kids arrive for the holiday, I realize, yet again, that we can't wait until retirement to do the same.

I come from a family that values stuff; it is part of my DNA.  The thrill of scoring a really good sale is also inherited.  Throw in the childhood spent traversing the globe as a military BRAT, when my stuff became my sense of home, and a tendency to start creative projects and not finish them..well, you can see where this is going.

We are not hoarders, not in the truest sense (although with books, I plead the fifth; I am a librarian, after all).  I have no problem throwing away trash, recycling paper and plastic products, getting rid of clothes that are three sizes too small.  I am not someone who keeps items that spark sadness, so there, Marie Kondo.

But I can't bear to part with sentimental items.  Boarding passes to places I may never visit again, notes from grateful students, a Christmas tag with my mother's handwriting--they bring back happy memories, those I'm worried I'll forget without the physical reminders.

And there are those books I swear I will get around to reading, the projects I know I'll finish someday, those jeans that are just one size out of reach...

It's time, though, to think once again (because I know I've written about this before) about the long-term effects of having this clutter around.  

After all, this is the season of gratitude...and I have so much more to be thankful for than just stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Chris... as usual, you speak my language and live my thoughts. I've been working on decluttering, too, as the holidays approach. I am managing to get rid of some things but I reboxed my grandmother's things and found a new shelf for them to free up closet space. And how right you are - we ALL have much to be thankful for, far more than stuff! There are living treasures and memories and gifts all around us, every day that we live. Enjoy your holiday and your family.