Sunday, October 10, 2010


For a long time I've know I had too much stuff; I've been told that for an even longer time.  Most of my adult life it has been very hard to get rid of most anything and I've devoted considerable energy to replacing things I've lost.

At some point after I started taking the current mix of antidepressants, the idea at least became feasible, although it was shortly after that I had to put most things in storage while my then landlord was having work done to the house.  And, this last move, I did not have much prep time, so once again, I packed things I may not have otherwise.

I've never had any insight into why......why do I keep these things, especially when they are broken, have no sentimental value and I know I will never use it?  Now, not all my things in storage are like that.  I have some very lovely things like my grandmother's china, a set of silver, some antique quilts, quilttops.  But alot of it is just....stuff.

I just got it.  I've been reading Shari Gaynor's 'Creative Awakenings'.  One of the artists featured, Suzanne Simantais, struggles with the same issue.  She said some things that switched the light on:

'That's why it's so sad and so difficult to get rid of all this stuff.  It feels like I'm abandoning the dreams that go with it.' 

(I thought of Langston Hughes' poem, 'A Dream Deferred' when I read this.)


'Now, six years later, I am miserable where I should be happy.  Not only am I drowning in clutter, but I am also disappointed, even embarrassed, that in no way does my home reflect my true self...Wait, let me rephrase that...This mess does reflect the current state of my mind.  I see that in addition to dejunking my environment, I must declutter my brain and ditch the thought patterns that have created the situation.'

'And there's the real problem that lurks beneath all this hoarded stuff:  perfectionism.  Not only do I hesitate to toss stuff, I hesitateto use it because I fear wasting it.  I am afraid I'll be unable to create the desired outcome, so I don't even try.  Perfectionism causes clutter, throughout my environment and inside my head.'

and finally

'I chuck the least attractive....and return two to their drawer.  Hey, it improves he situation by one-third.  I choose to be proud of this small step.'


After contemplating these words for about a week, today I got rid of

-two arm chairs
-two throw cushions
-a store display 'spinner'
-a bag of clothes
-30 gallons of recyclables, mostly paper
-30 gallons of garbage,

all out of my living room.  Now I will have room for my grandmother's rocking hair and the red cabinet.  I can bring in the two houseplants because there is enough room.  And my cat can stretch out on the floor.

I also wiped down most of the hard surfaces in the room before I totally pooped out.

It feels good.


  1. I am truly proud to read this and to learn of your getting some sense of why this happened. I have two relatives, one of which is my SIL who also does the same and so far she has not been able to come to grips.

    Good on you, my friend. (((HUGS))) I am truly happy this new enlightenment has come.

  2. You're doing fine, my friend--you're attacking the stuff gradually and mindfully; that's how the most lasting changes happen, I think.

    Steve have our own way of attacking the stuff in our lives: we call it "making room for the miracles to happen".

    With that in mind, I wish you many, many miracles!!!

    Keep up the good work!