Messy Closet/Clean Closet:
I confess I have had a been keeping a big messy secret – for the past six years the messiest closet on record. In 2009 when I graduated from college I had to move across the US and did not want to lug my family possessions in my 1989 living on a prayer Oldsmobile (which later died in Gillette WY- another story, another day). I filled the storage unit filled to the brink and brim with everything I ever owned except the kitchen sink (not without trying :)) For years I was in a quagmire do I get rid of my possessions or spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get them shipped to Montana? The dilemma; family antiques – selling or getting rid of them to a non-family member is a cardinal sin in the south, dilemma 2 – the air in Montana is dry – and the wood in the antiques would suffer from the move, dilemma 3 – I loved Montana but knew eventually I’d have to move back east for work. So I let it sit and I analyzed solution after solution – I prayed and reasoned, frustrated as I paid $213 a month for six years! Ridiculous. Finally the worms burst out of the can – when I found out our storage unit was going to either have to be evacuated or sold off due to the facility closing – well I had two weeks to unload my life and give up my ghosts.
It is one of the hardest things I have ever done – being forced to GIVE UP the possessions from my life and past I feel so connected too – well in the end I had to clunk most of the belongings.
My mom and I made the bittersweet trek over the Blue Ridge Mountains, battling a tornado no less ( we rain into tornado like winds in Knoxville – Lord Helped Us STAY ALIVE), and on Saturday April 4th we cleaned out the storage unit synonymous with our lives – we were so upset as we started the process – angry we had to just give up our lives – but as I sorted through the mess I found beauty in letting go and peace of mind in keeping what really mattered – baby pictures, scrapbooks, memories that cannot be replaced.
I thought everything in the unit was so valuable it took getting in the grime and muck to realize half of the storage should have been tossed out years ago – a blender with no glass container or lid – I don’t care if it came from Williams and Sonoma – junk it! Storage bins with sheets – dump it!
Things to keep are personal effects like letters, postcards, pictures and home movies – antiques, silver and rugs – NOT Crate and Barrel glasses and second hand furniture that is not worth a dime more than you paid for it – it is harsh – I was harsh on myself – but sorting through the mess – I started laughing – this was what I guarded with my life – this is the clutter I clung to? Seriously a blender with not glass container?
Yes it pains me to get rid of my grandmother’s beautiful etage and sofa – but I made a decision – pay off bills and let it go or not eat for three months and spend $2000 I don’t have with high interest to move it? In the end it comes down to the load you are able to carry – YES hang onto things that matter – but be more realistic about what you need to kept and what to chunk – when something holds you back emotionally, financially and physically – it might be time for a furniture and clutter break up.
And yes I am LIVID to lose my grandmother’s etage and sofa and the storage unit won’t sell it for the $3000+ it is worth and we’ll wind up with a loss – but sometimes you’ve got to cut ties to make room in your life for the future – the past has no future in it.
So what did we do? We sorted through every box with precision and a take no prisoners attitude – if it could be replaced and had no real sentimental value then I put it in the trash for another person’s future treasure, and some junk just became trash to be recycled and left in the dump – I am an eco-girl, but some things just need to be destroyed 🙂 We kept every painting and scrapbook and photo album, year books and other personal effects that represent our lives – we sold many of my DVDs and CDs at McKay (awesome spot in Nashville) to help fund the trip – others can now enjoy my favorite movies – most of which I can stream online. It is not an easy task but it s well worth the effort. I now can enjoy my belongings instead of having them hidden, collecting dust in boxes.