Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's that time again: clean out, shred, donate

It's almost the end of 2011. It's the time to get rid of stuff, donate, make room....probably for more stuff, right? Well, not so quick this time. I am seriously thinking: retirement. Moving on, starting afresh, getting to live a laid-back lifestyle. I am even surprising myself. Done this several times just to find, a few years down the road, that I have collected just as much as I gave away. Not this time, this time I have to move my stuff to another country. It feels great!!!

It started with the idea that the apartment we are living in is for sale. Yes, we are two of the very few people who didn't buy a place in Miami. So far, we have not regretted it. Still, the owners want to sell; they live in Europe, things there are not as great either, they never come this way, the investment has lost it's attraction. All valid reasons, so the place went on the market. If it is sold to another investor, a long shot, there will be no problem... we'll stay another year; if not, we have to leave by March 1st.

As soon as I heard, I started my campaign. Going through closets and drawers, boxes in our storage space and in our spare bedroom/office. Oh, my...the things I have found, the things I have discovered I can live without! Can't deny that I have found things I would have kept a few years back, but not now. Things I didn't even remember I had that brought a tear to my eye or a mile to my face or a why did I keep this? comment; but those were just a few drawbacks, mostly, I enjoyed seeing them again and felt no guilt in putting them aside to be given away.

Found letters, Christmas notes from friends that were a joy to reread. Old club newsletters that made me smile and brought happy memories. Even plane tickets (yes, those pieces of paper we needed to board a plane) that made me wonder where did all those travel agents go? are they still in business? maybe in small towns or small countries, haven't seen one in years in the States. Wedding invitations, thank you notes (do people still write them, or am I the only one?) and birth announcements. This was just the paper part, the one that could be shredded. Bags and bags of paper, the people in my building most think I work for some intelligence agency...!

I found knick-knacks (another old-fashioned term) that I had bought on a whim. Collections of everything from small English cottages, to tea strainers to silver miniatures were looked at with a clinical eye and are now much diminished. Since I only kept the very best, the ones that bring happy memories and the ones that are useful, they are more valuable.

My books took a while since I still love to hold the book and turn the pages, but I did clean up those too. Gave away some and exchanged others for books I want to keep and didn't have already. Worked beautifully. The closets were interesting. Clothes, shoes, handbags, belts...how many things that I have kept for sentimental reasons alone. There was no way I was going to wear most of those things again, never! So everything was looked over and the stuffed bags I gave away were testimony of my resolve. Besides, since these articles we would always need, replacing them with classic and stylish things is something to look forward to.

It's been a liberating, if very exhausting, work. I have my husband involved...sometimes I need a little push. All in all it's progressing nicely. I know my friend Prati will appreciate this latest round of de-cluttering. Downsize your life, Upgrade your living sounds better than ever.


Steve Finnell said...

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Pratishtha Durga said...

I agree, Merc. It's so liberating. I hope this new phase of downsizing your possessions leads you to a new space of happiness.