As ridiculous as it might sound, it does take a lot of courage to let go of stuff… When I say stuff, I mean things that you have, own and acquire over time.
You buy some, you get given some, you steal some (not steal steal, but take when no one is watching), or you just have some. In the end, you find that you have all this stuff cluttered around you. Well for some, they are not just clutter, they are their belongings.
I had a recent encounter when I stayed at a hotel on a short family break. When I walked in, my first impression was that of serenity. It was quiet both literally and paradoxically. It was a room with a luxurious looking double bed, a table from which protruded a tv stand that held what appeared to be a 40 inch flat screen. There were also some soft lightings on the ceiling. The room was free of clutter. I felt so relaxed as soon as I beheld the simple furnishings.
That was when I began to imagine a world free of clutter. In fact it was an impossibility for me even though the idea was very alluring.
You see, when I planned my living space, that was the idea before life happened. The entry of wife, kids, new family and friends meant that I lost that serenity. Suddenly one gift or purchase after another left my life overflowing with stuff. My walls became important display spaces for nearly every milestone on earth. I hung up pictures and paintings on every space and set up a gallery of memories with them. I agree they were lovely but that did not stop them being noisy. Please let’s not talk about the fridge. That doubled as a magnet holder and reminder. The silly capitalists with their endless sales and adverts have left my closets overflowing with shoes, clothes and other things that I can only categorise as bric-a-brac. My house now feels like that of the old lady who lived in a shoe only I am a man and my problem is not that I have too many children just that I have too much stuff.
Rather than spending all this money escaping to hotels just to experience the peace and tranquility of a clutter free space, perhaps I should just declutter my stuff. That my friend, is easier said than done. Where would I start from? Each stuff that I possess contains a memory of the moment that brought it to life. I think it’s now a bit like autism if you ask me. These things are an extension of me. I can’t throw them away. I used to be able to donate them to charity. Tie them in the respective charity bags and hand them to prospective new owners. Then it did not feel like they were being thrown away. They were re-homed. I experienced the peace of knowing that they were not just being incinerated. Well that all ended when I read in a group type thing forum that they did not always end up in good condition by the time they got to the supposed charities. As a result, they got disposed off.
So now, I am back to where I started. I feel like I am officially a hoarder. When I manage to relinquish ownership of stuff I buy even more. I do not buy new stuff any more because I literally have no space for a new addition. It’s good because I save money…but not really though if I still spend it on these secret escapes. I have toyed with the idea of acquiring a new home for stuff but you and I know that it will only worsen the problem. So yes, unlike most, I cannot have a spring clean.
Thank you for reading
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