We have so much stuff. Too much stuff. Every so often it hits me and I snap into Jessie Spano mode, but instead of shrieking “There’s never enough time!” I go full-on “THERE’S TOO MUCH STUUUUUUFF!” And instead of being Jessie Spano so excited, I’m so so mortified but how much I’ve allowed to accumulate (also: not on pills).
It’s usually an influx of toys around a kid’s birthday that sets me off, but, really, we have a substantial amount of stuff that we amassed long before kids. Stuff we have never felt compelled to use, but still stuff that we found to be important enough to pack not only once but at least twice for moves.
So on the dreary, gray, cold days that were July 4th weekend, I celebrated independence by freeing myself from so so so much stuff. And here’s what I learned:
• I wore an unfortunate amount of purple during both of my pregnancies. If people didn’t call me Grimace behind my back, they certainly missed a good opportunity.
• I don’t throw away T-shirts. I have an XXL WVU tee that was handed out when I did a tour of the school in 1998, my volleyball tee from middle school, the commemorative shirt from a marching band trip to Disney World, every single church camp shirt from both camper and counselor years. I know they can be made into quilts, but I actually wore these and some of them are thread bare (and still in my possession… baby steps in this purge, I suppose).
• I probably don’t need to hang on to every single basket or vase that finds its way into our home. They’ve all been taking up valuable real estate on the basement shelves where I could be storing other junk we don’t use.
• I had Mr. Iaquinto for Health third period of my first semester of my senior year of high school. Yeah, I held on to a schedule (probably not the only one) and it was randomly floating around my basement.
I spent hours focused on this great purge. My dining room quickly filled with perfectly good items we just don’t use and the garbage filled with things that had been used and used and had no life left in them. And after all that, I felt GOOD. A weight lifted. So much I could still go through, but it was a fantastic start.
I also learned we have many wonderful places where we can take new or gently used goods that may not be of use in our homes but can help someone elsewhere. Here are just a few places (and PLEASE don’t take them junk! If you wouldn’t give it to your neighbor or sibling to use or wear, don’t take it there. Some things should just be trashed.):
• Church for All People Free Store on Parsons Avenue in the Merion Village area
• Common Ground Free Store in Delaware
• Welcome Warehouse in Dublin
• Westside Free Store Ministries on South Powell Avenue in the Hilltop community
• Create Happy Moments collects new and used children’s costumes to send to children in need.
Please refer to each organization’s site for their hours and specific needs.