I could have easily called this post "The Purge". Last month I wrote about the 40 Bags in 40 Days promoted by "A Space For Calm" in Orleans. Did I do it? I think so. Did I purge something every single day (except Sunday's - everyone needs a day of rest)? No.
Did I get rid of close to 40 theoretical bags? Yes.
Some days I would purge multiple areas and I was thorough. A whole closet to a working mother of 3 who is trying to maintain some kind of enjoyable life, can seem overwhelming. Those jackets, boots and mitts that are way to small for the kids, aren't going to purge themselves are they? So... I tackled multiple areas over a few hours. My entire dresser and closet in one day. I had already purged some of my clothes a few months ago so my closet went pretty quick. But man did ever have a lot of bikini tops - why? My dresser was a bigger task. I hadn't gone through that thing in about 18 months. My big find... those stupid foamy bra inserts that you get from work out tops. I had like 10 pairs in a box. Makes we wonder - since I've never used them - if I'm walking around the gym with NPO's all over the place. Then I think that the people I smile at or talk to aren't smiling back because they think I'm friendly but they are smiling because I look like I'm cold, if you know what I mean!!!
I went through the dreaded closet in the basement that houses children's toys. Seriously I have a teen, a tween and a kid who keeps her favourite toys in her bedroom. That was a fun closet to go through. Here I discovered an entire bin of costumes - all the perfect size for kindergarten aged kids. These adorable and fun costumes are now being enjoyed buy another family. Then the stack of books appropriate for preschoolers, not children that can read chapter books. Donated to the library for their sale. A set of some type of building sticks - connects or something, given to some lady who has grandsons, she is tickled. The broken cars/trucks that no one plays with were either put in recycling or thrown away. Still the same, gone and out of my house.
The list goes on and continues to grow.
But now what happens? Is this a viscous circle, will I find myself here in a few months? Will my need to purge turn us into those extreme minimalists who have nothing? No I don't think so. I do know that we as a family are being much more cautious about things that we bring into our home. When that impulse item calls to us we take the time to think about it. Is it something we need, and should be re-purpose something else, or can something else do it's job. When a new shirt or sweater is needed (I do have growing children) we make sure to get rid of what is outgrown or worn out. We have been for the last few years substituting gifts at Christmas and birthdays for experiences instead. We ski, we go to concerts and take part in fun activities. We will remember those experiences for much longer than we will that favourite shirt that only fits for one year.
What do you do?
Jennifer is an RMT, long time yoga practitioner and teacher. Follow her musings as an RMT, yoga teacher, prenatal educator and mother of three.