all this junk
I have never been a very organized or tidy person. This has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I was a saver of everything that *might* hold significance and that meant clutter and junk in every available space.
My mother was a saver. She found sentimental meaning in everything we touched as children. That is not bad, but it did teach me that it was completely normal to hold onto everything. Storage boxes filled with keepsakes filled every closet and corner. I remember, after marrying my born organized husband, hearing him me that my stuff was driving him crazy. Every time we moved (a lot – he is in the navy) we had to go through everything again, reorganize my many storage containers, and then he had to lug them and stack them in creative ways to make them all fit in whatever space we could find. The more my family grew the more I had to hold on to.
My saver mother decided to declutter – I can remember her starting this when I was still in high school but it didn’t really take hold until I was out of the house. She still couldn’t get rid of all those sentimental items so she gave them to me saying “this isn’t something you sell on eBay”.
I would bring these things home and my husband would say “no!”, we have too much stuff. Trying to give it back to my mother would be impossible so I just went out and purchased a rubbermade and added it to our every growing stack of storage containers.
A few years ago the Navy moved us from a 5 bedroom house in SC and gave my family of 6, plus one on the way, a 850 sq. ft., 3 bedroom house in RI. This house was SMALL and either we lived in it like a 2 bedroom or we got rid of my beloved stuff.
It took 2 full weeks of working about 5 or 6 hours everyday to go through all our stuff. I probably rid my family of more than 10 big boxes of junk, a closet full of old clothes, and more old books than I could count. I felt so guilty at first, sure I would need this or that, or I would end up regretting trashing my favorite something or other (see, I cannot even remember what I got rid of!) After a while it got easier and the more I trashed and gave away the lighter I began to feel.
So here we are now, 5 kids and one on the way and I have less junk than I did 5 years ago. I am still not very organized, and I struggle with a schedule and keeping my home in order, but I don’t have the junk to wade through that I used to have which makes training myself much easier.
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