I move a lot. The look on people’s faces when they learn how much varies from sincere sympathy to abject horror. Some people go so far as to step away from me as if they suspect that what I have is contagious and they don’t want to catch it. Moving is an anxiety inducing life event for most. A shock to no one that has done it badly, recently, or without a superior moving company. That it ranks third in the most stressful life events that you can undertake, stationed behind death of a loved one and divorce, seems absurd. Really?, We can do better.
I love public speaking too, so before you go judging me as someone that you can’t relate to at all, and will never come to believe that either experience can be liberating, let me set the stage for you, pull back the curtain on the kerfuffle over organizing your life, categorizing it, leaving bits of it behind, and starting anew. There is so much that can be eliminated from your life that holds you down when you could simply decide to begin.
That moment could look like a Model T Assembly Line instead of a fifth birthday party for a rambunctious little boy and twenty of his closest friends, hosted in your Cape cottage instead of the backyard because of the downpour outside. Clear the slate. We’ll take this Bird by Bird as Anne Lamott tells her impatient students, her would be published writers.
Before we start in earnest I think it is only fair that I share with you that this is more life philosophy than moving hack or How-To. There are loads of people and resources that will support you if you want to learn how to stuff ten pounds of sausage into a two pound bag and move it from point A to point B. They have valuable advice, but like an investigative reporter, I am more interested in what’s in the sausage. Should you be moving it? Ingesting it? Living with it. Is it healthy? Did it once serve a purpose in your life, feed your soul, but now it’s holding you down, or back, or up, when you need to be free? That’s what this is all about, so let’s get started.
Being in any room. Pick one. Which room do you love sitting in, working in, sleeping in, being in? Begin there. Gaze up at a shelf or open the Armoire, or closet door or peek under the bed. I know you keep things under the bed. Please don’t tell me that the last time you looked there was when you moved in. Ok, we’ll discuss that later. Now for the good stuff.
Pull things out, hold them and turn them over in your hands. Do they illicit a memory? Tell a story, make you smile, or serve a need. Keep it. Set it aside in a pile , ask yourself when you used it last. Become a Parochial School Nun instructing the class. Clothes: if you haven’t worn it in the season that its intended for here are your options: Donate it to a Charity, Consign it on-line or at a neighborhood shop, Gift it to a friend or colleague, or Toss it.
While this approach may not work for everything in your home, you’d be surprised at how many organizations are begging for strange food products, will accept small furnishings or kitchen items, and of course books – beyond libraries there are homeless shelters, soup kitchens, nursing homes. Those books that are collecting dust could open the hearts and minds of the lonely and suffering, doing so much good. Would you deny them that, when you could load up your wheeled suitcase and whistle a tune as you prepare to change someone’s day or life or just dust the corners of their existence free of loneliness? A book can be a wonderful friend.
Part II to follow with links to resources for donating. Happy Wednesday.