I’ve lived in my house for over 20 years. I’ve raised my children, 3 dogs and 3 cats in this house. The floors of this house have witnessed the soft pitter patter of tiny feet turn to the THUMP THUMP THUMP of much larger feet. These walls have stood by as laughter, occasional tears, and the voices of those I love most in the world bounced from room to room. The kitchen has given birth to enough food to feed the entire state.
The stories this house holds are too many to mention.
And with a life lived, comes “stuff” accumulated. Lots of stuff. Momentos, souvenirs, little bits and pieces, each attached to a memory; each memory attached to a person or group of people.
We are in the process of downsizing right now. There are no more feet running down the stairs; no more cars pulling up in the driveway; no more “HEY, MOM! I’m home!” being shouted from the kitchen. No more herd-of-elephant sounds from upstairs.
It is as it should be. Children grow up and begin their lives. I know this.
It makes sense to downsize. It is the logical thing to do. I know this, too.
I also know that downsizing is “in” right now. Ridding yourself of anything you own in excess. The Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” is all about that. Does it “spark joy?” If yes, then keep it. If not, then thank the
t-shirt or mixing bowl or board game and get rid of it. Yes, you’re supposed to thank it first and then send it on its way.
And while I’m sure that there are those who are one set of dishes or pair of flip flops away from being a hoarder, I am not. I love the things I’ve saved. The things I’ve saved have meaning.
The things I’ve saved ALL SPARK JOY.
Boxes of my children’s school art, that which isn’t already framed and on the wall = JOY
The accumulation of Tiki glasses from Frankie’s Tiki Room in Vegas = JOY
The stack of 12 Christmas tablecloths = JOY
The inflatable football field ice cooler that I use only once or twice a year = JOY
The straw placemats I used for Galentine’s Day 2017 = JOY
That one pair of shoe boots that I hadn’t worn in 5 years but ended up being perfect for last year’s suffragette Halloween costume: JOY
And while I realize that many people aren’t as attached to items in
their home, I am hard-core sentimental, which is why with each box of
beautiful, wonderful, meaningful “stuff” that we tape up for a garage
sale, I write in large red marker:
“Go home, Marie Kondo. You’re drunk.”
And then I say, “Thank you.”