Monday, May 5, 2014

What to keep, what to throw away.

It's Spring...time for some spring cleaning! The 'sibs' and I spent some time over the weekend helping our parents do a little spring cleaning. The biggest project was sorting and re-stacking a massive pile of firewood they accumulated over the past 30+ years.
(Ok, that's not really the wood we stacked...but it felt like it!) 
We also hauled away some scrap metal, an old snowmobile, a snow blower with a bad engine, and a few other select items. Throughout the day, my parents held 'delicate negotiations' over what should be kept and what should be recycled. Naturally they didn't always agree, but overall it was a very productive day. It really got me thinking about the stuff I've been keeping year after year. What have I been packing around that I really should get rid of?

We spend a lifetime accumulating things, most for legitimate needs, sometimes for no good reason at all. It would be foolish (and impossible) to keep every single thing we collect in life, so how does one decide what to keep, and what to let go? It’s one of life’s most vexing questions. If you discard things too quickly, you may end up buying them again, but if you keep everything you accumulate, you’ll end up on a reality television show (not the best way to become famous)! We all know someone who hoards, and for some of us that person is us! Have you had stuff in storage so long you’ve forgotten what you have? Have you saved something for a long time and don’t know why? The fact is, sooner or later someone will have to deal with the things you accumulate, because we never seem to last as long as our stuff does! So... get rid of some stuff!

In deciding what to get rid of, keep in mind that situations are different, so you can’t apply the same storage rules to everyone. For example, farmers have a good reason to save old farm equipment, they may eventually need it for parts repairs. But you? You're not a farmer. You don't need that old swather in your back yard! You would be silly to throw out items that have a clear use in the near future. Unless you have unlimited resources, you don't toss out your winter clothing every spring, or your summer clothing at the first hint of cold weather. So what is the right balance? Just ask yourself this question: How much crap do I want to leave for my heirs to sort through? Note: By crap I don’t mean land, cattle, homes, gold, stocks, cash and priceless antiques...heirs really like that stuff and are more than happy to sort through it! 

There's a real feeling of cleansing and accomplishment when you unload useless baggage you've been carrying around for a long time (no, I'm not waxing all religious on you..but it applies just the same!). Sometimes less really is more. Less stuff equals less to worry about, less to store, less to repair and maintain. Less gives you more time to think about the things you don't have yet! How does your family room look on Christmas morning? Mine looks like a disaster area. I think how clean and organized it would be if everyone received only one gift instead of a truckload. If I just ruined Christmas for you...sorry, but what if you had to leave your home quickly the day after Christmas, taking only what you could carry on your back. How many of those gifts would be left behind? Humbug..probably most of them.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade. Do what you want, it's a free country, but know this: If you decrease the amount of stuff you keep for no good reason, all of your wildest hopes and dreams will certainly come true! Who doesn't want that?


  1. Wonderful information and great way to look at life and our things! Thanks very much Kristy

  2. Boy do I know what your talking about. Try putting your house up for sale! That lets you know in a hurry how much junk you have laying around that you really don't need. And even now there is a ton more I'm sure I can eliminate! Thanks for the info, Karen