Friday, March 1, 2019

Declutter, destress and help others out! Praise for Habitat for Humanity, ReStore Simcoe, and Salvation Army

A HUGE thank you to Habitat for Humanity / ReStore Simcoe, and the regional Salvation Army for helping us find new homes and new uses for many of our possessions.  The courteousness of the drivers and workers sent to our house, their patience with me, and their kindness is wonderfully reflective of the spirit of each of your organizations.  Thank you so much for ensuring that most of the items taken today find new homes, and new uses and therefore do not add further clutter to the landfill!! 

Today we donated just over 50% of our furniture and 80% of our clothing, bed sheets, towels, as well as various other items.

Those numbers sound imposing – but they aren’t.   If I had been told a week or two ago that I was going to rid myself of over half of what I owned in one morning I would have fretted and worried.  Yet today with everything cleaned out I feel great!

Yes we are moving and needed to pack anyways, but as the Realtor pushed for more and more to go quicker and quicker, and we were unable to find local storage space, our only option was to begin donating.  At first, I found the concept of this heartbreaking.  These are my memories and possessions.  These are all the things I have gone to school for, worked for, bought a house to keep them in, and have insurance for.    Yet, over the past two weeks as things have been packed up, set aside for donation, and put into the garage we quickly came to realize that much of what we owned we did not wear or use – and so we set it aside.  Then, often within a day I could not remember what I had packed, and today I cannot even recall most of what is gone. 

 Throughout this process, as shelves cleaned up, closets emptied, and the space opened up throughout our house everything began to feel so much better.  The space not only felt more open, but the space became more alive,  were less stressful to be in, we could walk around without stubbing our toes, and I too began to feel more relaxed.  Add to this that there is now a heck of a lot less to clean and now have more than 50% less stuff feels great!
I now realize how much time I have wasted in the last few years cleaning “stuff”, re-arranging “stuff”, organizing “stuff”, and paying for “stuff”.  Having undergone this process, I see how much I have become a consumer of “stuff”.  Not essential, life saving, or sustaining items, but just “stuff”.   

It makes me wonder how much time I have spent between years in school and now after almost a decade at a desk working just to buy a lot of things that are far far far from necessary? Why have I gone into debt for these things? Why have I cluttered my house with knickknacks and souvenirs which now longer have meaning to me or use? Why did I need such a large home? Why did I choose my house based on the need for large rooms? Why do I have so many shelves and storage bins? How much of my life, time, money, and peace of mind have I devoted and lost to “stuff”? I could not possibly have moved from my hometown to get a job, to pay for a large house, to pay more insurance, and have higher bills, just to store all this “stuff”? Could I have?

Well my random thoughts aside I will leave this post with only two messages. First, and most importantly, if you have things whether it is furniture or clothing or whatever that you no longer use then contact your local Habitat for Humanity, or Restore, or Salvation Army to see if they can be of benefit to someone else! Support your local charitable organizations and support local volunteers – they do such important work in our communities for which they deserve our thanks and praise!

My second and final comment, is to suggest that each of us strive to buy less and in doing so de-clutter our houses, shrink our bills, and de-stress our lives by getting rid of all that “stuff” we just simply don’t need. I have the sense, that in the process things will begin to feel so much more relaxed.

See you on the trail....

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