The Exorcising of Exess…

So here I am. Suffocating with stuff. How I ended up with so much shit is in part due to moving 3 times in 2 years without really unpacking. (We just kept replacing whatever was in the boxes. Very smart. Well thought out.) But mostly it’s due to my emotional attachment to things.

I used to be great at letting go of stuff. I gave away belongings with reckless abandon. I’ve always wanted to live more like an aesthetic than an aristocrat. But I lost a lot between 2008 and 2010 and by the beginning of 2011 I found myself unwilling to let go of ANYTHING else. Not my diet soda twice a day and certainly not my possessions.

I was able to let go of the excessive part of a 20-year-long emotional attachment, which was definitely the biggest achievement of 2011. I wasn’t fully aware of my unwillingness to part with my playthings until I did that, and then suddenly it was in my face. I totally freaked out. Am I a HOARDER?! I watched episodes of “Hoarders” and was convinced I was just three more empty shopping bags away from becoming one.

Still, I was overwhelmed with the prospects of culling through the crap and set it aside. I was preoccupied with my daughter’s emotional health and my grades at school.

But I had been formulating a plan in my subconscious. So when Hannah and I started the “Power 90” 90-day radical goal achievement program hosted by Outlook Development, I decided that along with fixing my health, I’d fix my house and face my finances. (more on finances later)

The plan looks like this: Every week for the next few weeks I will be going through every single item in the apartment. I will ask myself: if I LOVE it and if I USE it. If I only answer one of those questions with a “Yes!” then I have to decide if I can live without it. So, if I can indeed survive without it and I only answered once in the affirmative to, “Do I love it?” and “Do I use it?” then it goes!

Next, I decide if it should be offered to a family member or if I can sell it. I have a bin set aside for family members. If I decide I can sell it, I price it, tag it, and put it in a bin marked “Yard Sale.” I have one filled so far!

After a few weeks of going through the house and emptying out storage areas, etc. then I will begin to bring bins of stuff inside that are currently out in storage. The idea is to sort through their contents and those items that are truly important we save (like Hannah’s and my cheerleading uniforms, hellooooo!) will be put away IN THE HOUSE. Then those bins will be filled with more yard sale stuff until 50 to 75% of everything is in bins, in the garage, priced and ready to sell.

The due date to be DONE with the Super Sort is March 15th. The yard sale will be in the spring — once it warms up.

Why did I choose this method rather than simply donating or giving away our stuff? Mostly because we need the cash. Partly because our stuff isn’t actually shit. But also in part to help me emotionally let go. Like I said, I lost a lot in the last few years. Making some money from the excess will soften the blow of letting go of some of the more difficult items, like tokens from past loves, or trinkets from travels.

For today, I am doing a “quick sort” of my closet. I’ll let you know how many bins I get priced and sorted.

Wish me luck!

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On, Purging Possessions

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