By Jim “Pappy” Moore
Now is the time for all good men and women to come to their own aid. Christmas is over. Start the year with a resolution you can keep: Get rid of things you don’t need.
Here are the steps of divorcing your unneeded items: Sell it. Give it away. Throw it away. Pay someone to haul it away. I assure you that some of you have stuff in a container that isn’t worth the price of the container it sits in. By getting rid of stuff you don’t need you regain the value of those containers you are using unwisely. You also clear out space so that you downsize your need for containers and for storage.
As surely as you are reading this, you know there’s junk you have saved that you should get rid of asap. Old technology. VHS is not coming back. Accept it. A TV that weighs 80 pounds is not coming back. A phone you got free 30 years ago is never going to be of use.
It is wise to save clothes you have not worn in years under the belief that some day you be able to get back into them. That can happen. But if it is something ugly and you will never wear it again no matter what, for the love of everything holy, ditch it. Somewhere there is someone who might wear it, or use it to put on their dog for festive occasions.
Junk is about the junk. It’s about us, about our desire not to let go of reminders of an era long past us. We cling to the past because the items represent a moment in time when other relationships existed than exist now.
The faster you move on from keeping it, to maybe selling it, to giving it away, or to throwing it away, the better you will be. You might as well. Your kids are going to throw it all away after you die, anyway. At least this way you might get to give the item to someone who will cherish it and give it a home for years.
My first big clean out happened about twenty years ago. I had a large storage place where I had all sorts of stuff I had not looked at in years. I made myself sell the good stuff and get rid of the junk. I realized how much money I was wasting every year keeping the stuff, and how freeing myself from it meant lightening my own load.
Each time I have moved, getting rid of stuff has become easier. I have not moved that often, either, but when I have it really makes clear how badly I need to get rid of some items.
For decades I had a really old sewing machine which turned into a fine wooden cabinet. I gave it to a woman I knew would give it a good home. Occasionally I see it sitting in a place of honor in her home, looking fine. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” wrote English poet John Keats. He died in 1821 at the age of 25, yet his poetry still enthralls us. We don’t have to own things to cherish their beauty beyond our possession of them, any more than we have to own Keats works to appreciate his poetry in our time.
Lives can become cluttered with stuff. We can allow the stuff to take over. There is joy in freedom from stuff. We can always keep photos to remind us of those items. As the Red Hot Chili Peppers once sang, “give it away, give it away, give it away now!”
Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.