Does It Bring You Joy?

One year or so, before we sold our house of 17 years, we decided to renovate, and purge one room at a time. It would start with a dresser or a closet, and go from there. The purge took longer than the reno. We were still going through stuff as the last stroke of paint was drying. 

You don't realize how much you accumulate until you have to go through each item one by one. I made piles; donate, sell, and keep. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. 

Things that had any kind of negative vibe: gone.
Things (mostly crafts) that I saved for "one day": gone.
Things that I thought the kids "might" like one day when they were older: gone.
Things that I was done with: gone.

Basically my methods were complete opposite of Marie Kondo's. Instead of holding an item up asking if it brought me joy, if it angered me - it was gone!

That doesn't mean there was something negative about the item. For example; I had a box of trinkets that I loved when I purchased them, and loved them when I displayed them. I was angry that even though I loved them, I knew they weren't going to be displayed again. They served their purpose, and I was done with them. However, when I dropped that box off at the thrift store, I was thrilled to know those gently used items would bring someone else joy.

If only items could tell their story, mine would talk for days. Most of those trinkets were purchased in other countries and moved around the world with us. Oh, the things they'd say!

When I got to an item that meant a lot to me and I knew it had to go, I took a photo to remember it. So I have hundreds of photos in a folder on my computer. One day I'm sure I'll scroll through it and wonder, "What on earth am I keeping these photos for?" and delete it, but that day isn't today.

I guesstimate that we got rid of about 60% of our belongings knowing we'd be moving from 1330 square feet to 781, 20% went into storage, and the remaining 20% is in our apartment.

After a year of living in the beach apartment, we started going through the storage unit, because honestly, I'd forgotten what was in there. I must not have missed it much if I couldn't remember, right? However, at some point I did miss my garlic press and a pillow, which I dug out as soon as I knew I needed them back in my life. It's funny though, I don't use either anymore. I got sick of the pillow. And I purchase jars of minced garlic now.

Life puts you on a different path and you adjust. I'd forgotten what that was like. With my husband being in the military for twenty years, we moved and adapted every one to three years. It was nice in a way, I never kept a lot of stuff since we had to pack up and move on the regular. I didn't even unpack all of our boxes at some duty stations. This may have been why we allowed our stuff to accumulate in our home where we lived the longest. We weren't forced to pack it all up every few years.

The day we acquired her!
Also, we recently sold our camper, it was a 31 foot long travel trailer, and I hadn't realized how much stuff we packed in there until it all had to come out. 12 large bags of stuff, half we kept and put in our storage unit, and the rest either was donated or thrown out. We did leave a few things for the next owner though.

The plan is to purchase another camper one day, a smaller one. The old one slept ten people. It's just me and the hubs mostly now, so we don't need all that space anymore. 

It was harder to say goodbye to the camper than it was the house. The house we were done with it, and we knew it, and the kids didn't want it. So it made no sense to keep it in the family. The camper though, so many good memories! and so much fun to own it, and use it whenever we wanted. Got us out of the apartment when the pandemic forced everyone inside. We had to stay on our campsite as all the campground buildings were closed, we even had to register and sign in online, but that was much better than being in the small apartment. I think we went camping four times in the Spring/Summer. The beach by our apartment was open, but you had to keep moving, not stopping or congregating. It was for exercise only. So we did go out to the beach to move around, but originally we moved to the beach to enjoy it in a different capacity. Good old 2020. Oh, the history we are living through right now! I wish someone from the future would message us and let us know how things turn out and what exactly they're saying about us. Wouldn't that be interesting?

I've babbled enough, much about nothing, so tell me - have you done any purging of your household goods or belongings? 


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