Saturday, May 19, 2012

God is in the details, not the minutia

I'm as guilty of this as anyone. But as of today, I am going to change my ways.
I am speaking about what we now term as ' hording'. Not animal hording, but just plain old keeping-stuff around-because-you-might-have-a-use-for-it-someday-and-it-is-just-too-good-to-throw-it-away type of hording.
What has brought me to this major life decision? Working as a receiver for the auction house. There is nothing like going through someone elses' 'stuff ' that will change your mind about keeping things.
Case in point: the 'collection' I am working on right now,(and this is not unusual for this type of work).

They had a happy life, full of travel and adventure and maybe a few kids and grand kids. They were well read and I think they leaned a little toward pretentious. For whatever reason, all of their earthly belongings have landed in my receiving dock. Stacks of stuff. And almost all of it in multiples. That's right- more than one of every item.
If they had one alarm clock, they had three. Of the same type, age,vintage...They had cartons and cartons of books, in multiples. They had every bread wrapper and twisty tie and glass jar (the kind that had jam or pickles or chili sauce in them) they had EVER bought. Really.

He considered him self a great chronicler,there were boxes of onion skin paper manuscripts carefully typed out and edited and 'final' drafts. She collected items that started with the first letter of her name. Thousands of them. And boxes and boxes and boxes of saran wrap and zip-lock type baggies.

This is only scratching the surface. There are photos and postcards and matchbook covers and brochures of ships they sailed with, people they met, swizzle sticks, shampoo bottles and hotel shower hats. Bath mats and soap, cleaner and toilet brushes-in multiples-all new.

Now I come home at night and I throw stuff into a big box. All of the broken watches, and boxes of paper that are too good to throw away, I throw away. The pieces of brick-a-brack, the broken sunglasses I intend to fix someday- I throw away. The old towels that are frayed, the comforters that I don't need, the blouses I won't wear because they are still in good condition but out of style- I am giving to charity. The stacks of books that are very old and of now interest to anyone, I am giving to the library. I am divesting myself- but more importantly- I am saving my children and any family I will leave behind - from having to make the choice to box every single thing and let someone else decide what is worthy and what is not. I am making the choice. And I am deciding what is worthy to leave behind- so that when I finally do go to the great Rodeo in the sky (or in the ground) my family will know what I deemed important- and they will deem it important too.


Mikey said...

oh yes, I hear this. I watch those hoarder shows, and while something like that runs in my family, at least it's not to that extent. I think you're right. Keep what's truly important to you and your family. The rest is junk. We are some great consumers in this country, but we don't need to keep EVERYTHING. I am constantly fighting this battle. I try not to bring stuff home unless it's food, lol. But somehow stuff just appears. I focus on different areas (closets, tack/storage room, trailer, etc) and purge yearly.

Story said...

I am getting better at this. The message was really brought home when I got married and moved 1500 miles. Right now I have a closet nearly full to the top with boxes that were packed over 6 years ago. I think of how much I paid to have all of that crap...and it is crap...shipped across the country. I had no idea that I had so much baggage but I'm reminded every time I open that closet door.

I have now learned to throw things out or donate them to charity when I no longer have a use for them. Although I still don't know what to do with that closet full of boxes.

Carolyn Plath said...

It's free-ing, isn't it? Sometimes hard in the moment, but liberating in the effect! Good for you, B!

Shirley said...

It frees you up to get rid of things you don't need, or will never get around to finishing. Ted and I have moved so many times, that we try to keep "stuff" under control. We have a good second hand store here that gets most of it. And when we do buy something just because we like it, we usually sell it after we have enjoyed it for a while.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Great post.
Moving every 3-8 years has helped my family purge our belongings, but my hubby leans towards hoarding. I, on the other hand, suffer anxiety by clutter and too much stuff and often toss stuff, to the chagrin of hubby.

Purging is such a great feeling of freedom. I can't imagine not doing it. I guess I could be considered OCD about it even. lol!


C-ingspots said...

Oh congratulations to you!!! I'm guilty of "keeping" stuff too, just in case - whatever. I hate clutter! Bit by slow bit, I clear through it and throw it out...oh joy! What an enlightening feeling! Such freedom there is in the letting go of stuff. If you need it someday, you'll find a way to replace it...good riddance!!

Denisarita said...

Take your towels to the local dog groomer or shelter. Trust me, they will be appreciated. Every so often I go through my closet and purge, it feels good. Then, I try the junk drawer in the kitchen, come on, ya all have one of them.

Vaquerogirl said...

Not only did I take my towels to the shelter, I have started a box at the Auction house to gather all the spare towels and sheets that come in there! Great minds think alike!

Horse Health Care said...

You did the right.

Lil Mama said...

I guess I am lucky because I live with the opposite of a hoarder. He throws away the good stuff I still use!

sunihali said...

Okay, okay. I'm trying. As a perk I've taken a booth at Good Things here in downtown Cedarville where I can put a price tag on my junk. It's a start, right?