Purging… can be freeing

The more you have, the more occupied you are. The less you have the more free you are.  ~ Mother Theresa

Purging can really make you feel good. Purging…you know…getting rid of stuff you don’t need or want anymore. Just going through a pile of papers sitting on your desk that’s been sitting there for a few weeks…purging. Going through your closet and finally getting rid of those clothes that you haven’t worn since 12th grade…also…purging. Then there is the big ‘ole purging….the garage…or the dreaded attic purge. Those are the ones people put off F-O-R-E-V-E-R because that’s where like everything ends up…right? If in doubt just throw it out in the garage, or take it to the attic. Out of sight, out of mind. Am I right or am I right?

Well friends, all that stuff piles up and let me tell you something, those piles accumulate and things begin to grow in those piles that make getting rid of those ‘things‘ hard sometimes. Memories. Especially those boxes with the family items in them. Those items you’ve been holding onto for so long, that Mom gave you, or that have items in it that belonged to your Dad or your sister or another family member. Maybe that family member is no longer with you any more, but you still hold on to them. Memories. I know.

When my father passed away last month,  and I walked into his small trailer in Florida (that I had never stepped foot into ever before) I felt like I was walking into an episode of Hoarders. It was no where nearly as bad as any of the couple of episodes I have watched of the show. Considering my 74 year old father lived in a very small, single wide trailer, it was bad. I was told before I got there to be prepared for how bad it was.

My father’s trailer was two bedrooms, one of the bedrooms was entirely full of stuff you literally couldn’t even walk into the room. At all. It was packed from floor to ceiling with stuff. He kept every single box from everything he ever bought. I use to understand this, as up until I got home from Florida I use to do this for large items I had bought. I found so many freaking empty darn boxes in that trailer..after awhile I would getting more annoyed when I would find another one. I mean I understand why, but I never did find what was suppose to go in the darn box.

By the second day of trying to clean out my father’s trailer and pack up what my brother and I were going to keep, I got so overwhelmed, I just wanted to leave. We hadn’t even really made much of a dent in the amount of stuff that had been taken out. I just sat down in a chair and cried and said to my husband, “I will never, ever leave anything like this for my children.” I made a promise to him and mainly to myself that I would go home and start purging more than I ever had before.

I’ve always had this saying in my house that if it’s not been used within 6 months then its got to go. Clothes or whatever. I try to stick to it. If I can remember. I’ve been pretty good. Especially since we’ve moved 2 years ago from our house at Shaw Air Force Base. We lived there for almost 11 years, and I did collect some junk. I did some purging over the years while we lived there, but not nearly enough. When we moved from a 2500 sq ft government house + a 2 car garage into a 2000 sq ft house, you notice that extra missing space.

So, in the time since my father passed away a little over a month ago I have found myself purging more and more. Some things are hard to get rid of, especially since I have always kept these things all of my adult life. Like receipts. I would keep them in an envelope and then when it would get full, I would put it in a baggie. Why did I keep the receipts? Because its something that my mom did. She told me when I was a teenager that “you should always keep your receipts, just in case you ever get audited, you will need them.” She and my father both claimed my brother and I on their income taxes one year so she got audited so she needed her receipts. So, all of my adult life I kept my receipts. It’s not like I have bags of them. I’ve been purging, so they are now gone. All of them. Guess what I found at my father’s house? TONS of freaking receipts! I saw them…showed my husband and I said, “The only receipt I will keep from now on is for major purchases, everything else is going in the damn garbage.”

The crap people save! Why do we feel the need to save all this stuff? Do we really think we need years worth of bills, or bank statements, or other meaningless things? These things are not going to bring us happiness. These things may bring us some type of order in our lives at the current time, but I think we need to try to find a way to have less of it. I know we shouldn’t leave it for our children and/or grandchildren to have to deal with.

You may or may not agree with me…on my less is best attitude. That is okay by me. I just know for me…I am finding it so freeing by purging.

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