….getting rid of stuff is hard, even though you haven’t used/worn it for <insert deity of choice> know’s how long. I discovered just how hard at the weekend. I went through a couple of drawers of t-shirts that I haven’t even opened in at least a year, unless it was to “archive” something. I pulled out each and every t-shirt, and about 75% of them made it back in unscathed. The old faithfuls that I wore to death, and in the case of my Jane’s Addiction shirt from the Ritual de lo Habitual tour is pretty much held together with blind faith, I put back in. The ones that went were all pretty much new and unworn. Things I’d bought on a whim because they were cool – don’t get me wrong, they still are – but never wore, as another “old faithful” got pulled out in their place.
I know it’s nuts. I’ve an original CBGB’s shirt that someone brought me back from NY about 15 years ago. You can almost see through it, that’s how worn it’s getting. Same with the t-shirt from the 1st Peterlee tattoo convention, which has also seen far better days, but these are what I’ve kept, and perfectly serviceable stuff that I’ve hardly worn (if at all) have found themselves consigned to the charity bag.
On the plus side, it’s a dent (however small) in the mountain of stuff I have to get rid off, and at least the PDSA will benefit.
So my planned clear-out hasn’t (yet) been as thorough as I’d hoped, but I am getting there.
There was a bit of a “take a deep breath and just do it” moment when I managed to get some stuff bagged, and binned. If I’d put it in a charity bag, there’s a danger I’d have changed my mind, but when you’ve turfed something in the bin, and topped it off with the contents of a dirty litter tray, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re not going to change your mind.
The fact that I had to go to that extreme to actually bin something, got me thinking. When we accumulate “stuff”, we also take on board psychic baggage along with the physical item. It’s that baggage that makes it hard to get rid of stuff. We form memories and associations with objects, and that in itself isn’t a problem, it’s when there’s too much stuff, and too many attachments, that we can’t let go of, THAT’S when it becomes a problem.
Can’t throw a book or t-shirt out because it reminds you of an ex? Or an ex gave it to you? Well, you can. It’s only an object, and getting rid of it won’t diminish the memories of the times you had together. It’s a book/t-shirt/whatever, it’s NOT the person. Will you ever read it again or wear it again? If the answer is know, then you CAN get rid of it. And believe me, the sense of mental relief when you do, makes it all worth it. You have thrown away a “thing”, not the memories attached to it. Those you still have and always will.
If you can, donate the stuff to a charity shop, let someone else who will wear/read/use it get the benefit.