I’ve been thinking a lot about “decluttering” my stuff again. (And have written about it many times) It’s a topic that comes up several times a year. I’ve shared the story of my first major experience with decluttering when I downsized and moved from the home my former husband and I had bought a few months after our marriage to the Casa, a villa roughly the same size as our home but with far less storage space.
The Casa boasts spacious rooms, and high ceilings, but only two closets. Because of this, many of my belongings are still in boxes in the garage. After six years, and several bursts of decluttering, I am once again evaluating my current situation. We rarely entertain anymore, and a large portion of the items stored in the garage are dishes and accessories related to entertaining.
I’ve held on to the vast amount of entertaining “stuff” because I thought I might, at some point in the future, resume entertaining. I also really like some of the pieces I have collected and, many hold memories of happy times with friends.
One of the things that makes this hard is that I feel like I’m letting go of a part of my life I enjoyed, a part that helped me feel connected to my friends, whom, for the most part, I haven’t heard from in six years.
The dish wear reminds me of happy times, crisp fall evenings when we hosted the neighbors for Halloween, the massive Christmas parties that took weeks to plan and prepare, and all manner of pool parties and cookouts during the summer.
In a way, by letting go of my entertaining things, I feel like I’m giving in to the fact that some of the changes to my “new life” haven’t been exactly what I wanted. One of which is feeling cut off from my old friends. My entertaining came to a screeching halt since, because, in addition to a lack of storage space, the Casa has little additional parking for even short term guests. And the gate that makes me feel more secure also serves as a deterrent for friends stopping by like they used to.
I hold on, telling myself that maybe I’ll entertain again, maybe when Brooke has a family, maybe when we move. It is that kind of thinking that keeps us holding on to things well past the donate by date.
It’s time for a deeper dive into what I’d like this chapter to look like, on an ongoing basis. Do I want to figure out how to make new friends or try to reconnect with old ones? Do I really want to entertain or do I want to let go of most of it and make room for something new? Does letting go of these things somehow change the memories? Without things, are we afraid we’ll forget?
Last month, I wrote about the real question we should be asking as we consider our stuff, which is “why am I still holding on to this?”
This month, I am thinking more globally, and asking, what do I want my life to look and feel like, and what do I need more of or less of?
Share something you’ve learned as you’ve worked through downsizing in the comments below!
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