“Throwing away the stuff is not throwing away the person.” My sister keeps telling me this as we sort through my mother’s house to divide up her belongings after she passed.
After a few recent and upcoming life events, my wife and I are downsizing our home and also sorting through my mother’s belongings. We are at a point where we just do not have enough room for all of the stuff that we have accumulated during our lifetimes.
It is a difficult task for me because my family has always placed great importance on things. Letters, cards, gifts, mementos, tools, and toys; anything that reminds you of a time in life, or a person, or group of special people. We have always kept and cherished those things. We are in a place now that we must keep only what really matters and find homes for the rest of it. Sometimes that home is in the trash.
My sister heard a quote once and does not remember where, but the essence of it is that discarding or donating something is not getting rid of the memory or the person that thing represents. It is just stuff.
You still have the love, the memories, and the moments that the stuff represents. Keeping everything does not bring back the good times and discarding some things does not erase the memories.
Maintaining and storing all of that stuff takes time, money, energy, and stress. Do yourself a favor and declutter your life a little. Keep the stuff that really matters, donate or discard the rest and forgive yourself for it. Remember that you are discarding stuff, not the person. Another great option is to take a digital photo of the special items you want to remember but do not necessarily need.
Decluttering comes easy for some people, but for the rest of us, just remind yourself that discarding a birthday card from your mother on your 6th birthday or a gift from a favorite aunt 20 years ago does not stain your memory or your love for them.
You will always have the memories, and now you’ll have a bit more space too.
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Craig: Craig Page is a self-proclaimed “data geek” with nearly 20 years of EAM/maintenance consulting experience. His favorite work is data migrations. He enjoys solving the puzzle to make the data fit and keep the integrity of the information. When Craig isn’t in front of a computer, he is probably running a chainsaw or a tractor. Have a question for Craig? Send him an email!