On the Reconciliation of Stuff
So, how do you feel about it?Recently, I’ve packed my entire house, moved it 8 hours away and unpacked it (well mostly) and I’ve had to do some reckoning with it all. I mean, I had to wrestle with it; asking the hard questions like, do I want this or need it and why? Does it have practical value or sentimental and will I ever use it again? Wrestling these things out within yourself can be quite the emotional task, and then you add other family members into the equation and it all gets so complicated. But it is such an important thing to do.
Today, my mind has been obsessed with the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs. My sister-in-law lives there and her house is about ten minutes away from the fire. We’ve been praying for rain and watching the weather and evacuation reports closely. I can’t imagine what it would be like to drive away from your house with a few belongings packed into the car, not knowing whether or not your house will survive. My mind has been consumed with the decisions one would have to make regarding their stuff. What to bring? What stays. Obviously, a very personal decision among individuals but the reconciliation of stuff would be tough. And so we would be facing the question again, how do I feel about my stuff?
In my new city, I’ve noticed there are an awful lot of storage facilities. I can count 5 in my head on my normal routes that I take to the pharmacy and grocery store. Now, storage facilities are useful and serve a purpose, but it has just struck me as odd here. The number of closets in my new house is embarrassingly high, as well as the size of each closet. One of them is so big, I can fit my son’s dresser entirely into his closet. With this many closets, who needs a storage facility to store more stuff? My new closet is roughly 7
Notice I have empty bins on the top shelf. Those clothes are in the dressers. There is one tote for summer clothes and one tote for winter clothes plus an extra one for sweaters. So 6 totes total for my husband and I. That’s plenty of clothes!
I think as Americans, we have this tendency to fill the empty space in our life. If there’s silence, we fill it with words or music. If the pantry is sparse, we run to the store. The shopping cart needs filled while at the store. If we have extra space in the closet, we want to buy more stuff. It’s maddening really. The problem is not the space or lack of, but our attatchments and feelings about it. There have been books written about organization and a popular hit tv series about hoarding. It’s the psychology behind it all that drives us to this behavior. More on this topic tomorrow, but to start, ask yourself a question:
When I buy something, how does it make me feel? empowered, contented, accomplished, at peace, excited, ect.