Now that Della and I are beginning the process of getting in downsize mode, we have started the long process of culling through all the junk we've either been toting around for years or have picked up here in South Bend. While I would venture to guess that we have a lot less stuff than the average family, that certainly does not mean our collection is small. We simply have less stuff because we have gotten into the habit of culling through it each year.
To make the process a bit more arduous, we must admit that both of us are packrats. A packrat isn't as bad as a hoarder, but the line between the two can be thin.
But I'm happy to report that -- unlike the days of yore -- I have become much more accomplished in casting things aside. Too often I have held onto nonessential belongings in the mistaken belief that I will spend time looking at this stuff at my leisure. Truth be told, the ONLY time I even remember that I have this or that occurs when packing up to move or unpacking at a new residence!!
To provide an example, I have held onto clothing items from my deceased mother and maternal grandparents. These items fall into the category of keepsakes. The problem, however, is that these cherished keepsakes sit in boxes in attics or basements, hardly ever seeing the light of day,
What's the point in that? It's one thing if you might use keepsakes or have them on display, but having them packed away in boxes that you almost never look in seems kind of silly.
Yesterday, I did something that I never would have dreamed that I would do voluntarily. I sorted through the box of books that belonged to my late mother and decided that there was only one that I might read at some later date. The rest of them ended up in the donate pile.
While I did keep several items of clothing, I decided to add to the donate box a cardigan sweater and dress of my mother's that are still in relatively good shape. Yes, I did feel little pangs of melancholy, but not as much as in year's past. I realize that in order to prepare ourselves for new experiences, it is important to cleanse the palate of the stale tastes of the past.