16 June 2008

Traveling light


In the month since my mom passed away, I've been thinking about a lot of things.

Why do I keep the stuff I keep? Why am I so hopelessly attached to material possessions? Why do I live like it's the Great Depression, saving little bits of this and that in case I might have use for it someday?

What's truly important to me? Scrapbooks, photos, videos, recordings, stories, hand-crafted treasures, mementos of travels or special occasions...memories, really.

All of the other stuff is just excess baggage.

My mom used to talk to me frequently about ridding my life of clutter and, while I thought I understood what she was saying, it really didn't hit home to me until this past month. Trust me: It's a gut-wrenching thing to have to sort through a loved one's possessions. If at all possible, I want to spare my family some of that pain.

I've learned that I need to travel light.

So where to start? I decided to start by ridding myself of my extensive collection of
Martha Stewart Living magazines, dating back to 1992. I've always kept them in case I needed to refer back to them, but I can only think of a couple of times when I've actually done that. Who needs the magazine when you can refer to Martha's website? It contains just about everything from the magazines, and then some.

Moreover, during the past couple of weeks of torrential rains, I've been lugging stuff around in our basement, picking boxes up off the floor so that things wouldn't get wet if our basement sump pump failed. I'm tired of moving Martha around.

So I'm dropping off all of my Martha magazines, plus a few years of
Bon Appetit, at the local book sale collection site. And I'm not looking back.

I'm traveling lighter already.

11 comments:

Fonda said...

Yeah Janet! I've also had similar thoughts recently, how many times do we really refer back to these amazing magazines after we flip thru them the first time. I have a gazillion scrapbook mags that I wonder if I'll ever look at again! I agree with what you find important, of all the things I would not want to loose in a flooded basement or worse, those are the things I would want in the end too. We weren't so lucky and did get water in our basement (unfinished) but I was somewhat prepared for it and had most everything raised up! Here's to continued sunshine and rain in more reasonable amounts!!! Glad to hear you are traveling lighter these days! Especially with gas prices! ha!

Sharon said...

Way to go, Janet. I, too, have gotten rid of things this month...clothes, furniture, sbing materials, etc. It felt good and the house is a bit lighter. My albums and photos are safe and that is what counts the most. So many extra things...why do I continue to save, save, save? My house runneth over.

Ryzmomplus2 said...

What a great idea - I think we all need to do a little of that!

:: gingerkitty :: said...

I have been on this road of de cluttering for three years and each year I make more progress. You will see as soon as you let go of all that stuff good things will come to you.

Lynn said...

Good for you! I need to do the same thing. I mean really, I don't think I've gone back to look something up in a magazine.

Do you feel lighter??? I'm sure you do.

Darcey said...

Good job, it is not always easy to get rid of things that we think we may need sometime.

Sarah C. said...

What a wonderful lesson and great start! DH & I have been on a mission to declutter (minus my scrappy goodies, of course! LOL) just to free up space in our home. And to prevent moving more stuff someday. It's amazing how much you can have and never use or see.

Linda said...

Good for your Janet! Dh and I have been on a decluttering mission since ds was born. It is hard at first but then it becomes very freeing.

Maureen said...

Good for you! I too need to do this.

Badly.

Theresa said...

Totally understand, went through the same thing with after my Mom and MIL both passed away (within a month of each other--not a good year). I purged tons of crap but still have a lot more that I need to get rid of.

The Momster said...

This really spoke to me. My mother is always asking me why I have 'so much'. Thank you for sharing this...