Coming from a family of hoarders isn’t easy.
I’m not being snarky or sarcastic. Perhaps dramatic, to be fair. Each generation on my mom’s side has been somewhat less of a hoarder than the previous.
My mother’s grandma was DEFINITELY considered a hoarder. My mom and I will never forget walking into that home after she died. The family had already gone through everything worth value and just gotten rid of all the children’s toys (despite not having any children around the house in years. Plus the toys were toys from the 60s, so…).
The family had decided to GO THROUGH my great-grandma’s scarfs.
See… my Great-Grandma had… a lot… of scarfs. That’s an understatement. They had already dumped all the scarfs that had filled up one of the chests out on the ground as well as one of the dressers (every drawer full, except the top one).
So I opened a different dresser.
I opened the next drawer.
And the bottom drawer?
You guessed it.
This woman must have had millions of scarfs.
Why? I don’t care if she lived to be over 90, she could have never worn all those scarfs. Especially because she had a few favorites that she wore more often than the rest. And why in the heck was my family going THROUGH them?! Thank goodness she had over half a dozen surviving children.
So my mom’s change was quick. She realized that she did not want my brother and I having to go through everything. And while she isn’t quite tossing stuff in the donation bin, she is freeing her grasp from things, sometimes without coaxing from me!
However, I do not have children. I also do not have nearly as much as my mom. So I saw this as her problem and not something I had to deal with. Then I began to read more decluttering websites. I became entranced with the blogs that I mention in my sidebar. And finally I realized that I had to turn the attention off my mom, who I was stressing the heck out and causing fights with over literal trash, and onto myself.
So into my room I went.
When I am stumped, I have realized that the best question to ask myself is “If I moved, would I take this?”. And to be fair, “no” is the answer to about 60% of what I own.
I keep books with the excuse that I will read them (I haven’t read over half my bookcase, no joke). I keep clothes with the excuse that I will wear them again (when I won’t). I keep stupid things because of the memories they hold or because other people expect me to hold onto it like they have (my most obvious example of this is a golf ball, from a time that we mini-golfed).
But the truth is, we don’t need these items. So much we keep in hopes of what we will be on day (dressing more classy, losing weight, reading classic novels, etc). So either make that change or let go of it. Now. Don’t wait til tomorrow.
On a note, sorry for not posting all week. I ended up being out a lot longer than I thought and was unable to post.
Do you have a difficult time letting go? Why? What has motivated you along the way to let go of things? What questions do you ask yourself to let go?