Saturday, April 11, 2020

Letting Things Go

I have a harder time than most, I think, letting posessions go. I have music CD's I never listen to, DVD's I will probably never watch again, and plenty of items in drawers or in storage I have forgotten about that I will probably never use again. And yet, when I look at these items I think, "What if?" What if I could use them again at some point in the future? What if I did need them after I got rid of them? If I give them away, will they be properly taken care of, as I have cared for them?

I'm not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely have more stuff (junk?) than I need and it affects me psychologically. I think one reason I have such a hard time letting things go is that I grew up poor, and I am still poor. Anything I own is a potential futurure savings if I can somehow use it again, instead of buying something new. The problem with that is that my posessions start to control me in unhealthy ways. I'm not a "your posessions own you" type of person, but I can understand why some people say that.

I watched some of Marie Kondo's Tidying Up series on Netflix and instead of inspiring me, it gave me anxiety. How can people just let things go like that? What if, on some level, everything I own gives me joy? Of course that's not the case, but this is one of the many ways my anxiety lies to me—it decives me into thinking fear of letting something go is at least in part rooted in "joy" of owning it.

Fortunately, there are times when I am able to go through a drawer, or a box, or even a closet and look at several items and wonder, "Why am I still keeping this?" I am learning not to hold on to things that don't serve some real purpose for me, and there are times when I can see something and tell myself that even though it still has use, it doesn't have use for me, and that I should donate it to a thrift store or give it away. The trick is to not immediately fill these empty spaces up again.

I probably shouldn't be as hard on myself about this as I tend to be, because reusing and repurposing things instead of getting rid of them has its own merit, as long as I don't let these potentially reusable items clutter my life and cause mental distress. I'm also limited by my health in how much I can physically do, and often there are other priorities over decluttering.

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