Dear Center Members,
Why is it that we hold on to so much stuff? Why do our garages, attics and basements get crammed full of things that maybe once had significance in the moment, but that now we simply keep 'just in case'?
I'm not talking about hoarding -- which is an extreme variation -- but just the steady accumulation of things that hold memories. I call it Caryl's Rule of the Home: the number of objects you have and hold on to over the years will expand to overfill the space allocated to it, no matter the size of the space. Can there be any other explanation of why my husband owns 7 hammers?
Why am I bringing this up? I had a garage sale over this past weekend (that is why this is later than usual) and we sold a tremendous number of things accumulated over the 28 years we have been living in our home. We got rid of household items, garden tools, home decor items, and a bevy of assorted items.
There was also a giant bag of Beanie Babies -- small stuffed animals that were all the rage when my kids were young over 20 years ago. They were in perfect condition, having sat in my basement in a sealed plastic container for decades.
As people went through the bag and pulled out animals that they wanted to buy, I had tinges of regret that I was selling them. I even felt moments of hope that none of them would sell. I silently reminisced and reflected on waiting on line at Learning Express (a great store that used to be in the shopping plaza that houses Confectionately Yours) to get the newest stuffed animal for my kids. And then, I wouldn't let them play with the stuffed animals because there was talk on how valuable they would be one day!
So here was two reason why I had a bagful of Beanie Babies that took up this space all these years. The hope of retiring from the sale of the elusive 'Princess Di' Beanie (rumored to be worth over $500,000) and the memories of standing in line getting the newest release for my kids. Well, I'm not retiring any time soon and luckily, I have many, many wonderful memories I draw from!
So yes there was some emotional feelings, but at the end of the day being free of items tucked in a corner and stacked on a shelf was liberating. Having less 'stuff' in my life is less of a burden for my children one day to deal with and was my goal.
By the way, if you were inspired by a my article last week and payed it forward to someone I would love to hear about what you did.
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