I am so thankful that my purge started in 2017; as it prepared me for the move that was waiting for me in 2018. While many of my friends and family were surprised by the decision to sell some of our possessions, it felt so good to let them go. Surprisingly, it still took three moving trucks and several car loads to transport our belongings to our new home; that equated to approximately 2800 square feet of stuff for our multi-generational family unit (our household consists of three generations as my mom lives with us). Many would say that we did pretty well. Sadly, as we unloaded the last load off the truck at our new home, my husband looked at me and said, “we still have too much.” I thought that we had done pretty well but there is something so revealing when you have to touch every single possession that you own and move it four hundred fifty miles from its location.
About three days in, I began to unpack the kitchen boxes. I had been working tiredlessly and little did I know that soon the tears would begin to fall. About two hours in, anxiety struck as I had run out of space to store my pots, pans, plates, spices, and utensils. I quietly sobbed as the feeling of excess settled into my body. Naturally, I started to ask myself, “where did all of this come from and why do I still have all of this?” There were some items in which I could not recall its origin and I wondered why I had moved it in the first place. I decided in that moment that I needed to get real with what I needed versus what I had kept as part of a feeling of obligation. I needed to stop thinking in terms of “just in case” and “for that special occasion.” At once, I pulled an empty box from the pile and started packing things back into it. I made the decision immediately that many of the items had to go and needed to be donated. As soon as the kitchen was unpacked, I loaded the trunk of my Honda Accord with boxes destined to the local goodwill store. What’s interesting is that as I write this, I cannot recall what is missing from my kitchen shelves. Let’s just say, our purge is not complete. The feeling of simplicity is a remarkable one and I long to continue to free myself from the overwhelming need to collect and fill my home with things. When I set out to change and simplify my life, I visualized what I wanted- a home that feels like a vacation resort, more time to spend doing the things I love, and the freedom to live a valued life. I actually picture in my mind being free from chaos and stress so that I can imagine, explore, and create while enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Today, as I write this I am entertained, watching my boys make new friends at the community pool because I am not bound to clean and tidy my home on a summer afternoon. I am not worried about the task of caring for and cleaning my “stuff” because much of it no longer occupies space in my home. My simplification process is not yet complete and I am continuing to purge as I seek to keep only the things that bring me joy. Therefore, I continue to move forward and simplify my journey.