I wrote yesterday that I've decided to be responsible about my possessions.
I feel very positive about this decision right now.
I am sad about having our beloved Oskie put down...I am still laid up from illness and stuff...
I'm not feeling the end is close or anything.
I just keep thinking of how hard it was to simply put Oskie's blankets into a pile for the no kill shelter.
Mr. Jenny and I got pretty broken up just doing that.
And Oskie didn't even have 'stuff'.
But it was hard, you know?
Unless I live to be really, really, really freakishly old, I am well past the halfway point of my life. Probably well past the 3/5ths point of my life.
Definitely time to de-stress as much of my stuff as I can.
I had quite a few e-mails asking me how I was doing it.
So I thought I'd share with you here.
Don't gasp. This isn't my 'stuff'. This is just a picture of 'stuff' I found. I don't know if I would be up to sorting this much stuff. Although I do see a box of Cheez-Its that might give me the strength to do it!
Before I started the daunting task I thought about many horror stories I've heard.
...the fighting among survivors (I don't think you can ever avoid that totally)
...things being thrown away as junk that had sentimental or monetary value.
Taking the sentiment and emotion out of this process, I realized that, absurdly, something that is valuable to me, might not be of value to any of my kids or Grandlittles.
I also realized that some things I have that are valuable don't necessarily look valuable.
Well, except for the gold bullion bars.
Like I have any gold bullion bars.
Here's how I started on my task.
I started in my office.
YessireeBob, my office was a testament to 'stuff'.
I started with the walls first.
I looked at everything I had hanging up.
There was only one thing that had an important story for me.
Everything else I just like, you know?
I took just a minute and wrote out the story of the specific piece of art. And then I taped it to the back.
Next was my bookcase.
I went through and organized and de-cluttered every shelf.
Again, not a lot of valuable things on the bookshelf but the two things that have monetary value now have little tags on the bottom that say "Keep or sell on e-bay. 1942 collectible." Or whatever.
I went through my office drawers.
They are organized now.
Anything that has been stuck in there that I still think is cool, is now in a box that says "cool stuff. You should look through here."
Everything else was sorted, organized and all the address labels from my last two houses have been thrown away.
I did the same thing with the closet in my office. Donate, sort, designate. All the pictures and school papers and programs are in one section now. I'm not up to organizing them, but they are all in one spot and clearly labeled.
The box that I keep my current bill receipts has a label that says "Current bill receipts. Shred and throw away."
I went through the box of music I've written over the years. I put the songs in plastic sleeves in binders. My Grandlittles read these writings and maybe they'd like the binders someday. If not, they are easy to throw out.
I have gone through my entire office thinking of my children and how I DO NOT WANT THEM to ever be standing here thinking, "OhmyGodOhmyGod where do we start? How can we even start now that Mom is gone?"
It's gonna be bad enough for them.
I don't want them to have this burden as well.
When I was done with my entire office I made a log. Just a single sheet of paper that kinda/sorta lists stuff. And that sheet of paper is going into a page protector in a binder for 'someday'.
I'll tell you about the binder soon.
But I have a long way to go.
As I went through my office, I realized that...
I can't transfer my likes onto the people that come after...
I can't help them to physically sort these things when I'm gone...
...but I can make it easier for them by not guilting them (of course, you will want to always keep the pottery jar I made in 1992)
...and I can make it easier for them by not having them make decisions about my things.
Some of the ultra personal things, I've kind of grouped into another flat box. I'm a little unsure what to do with those. I'm thinking about putting a label on there saying "Probably best if you destroy but if you insist on going through these things know that I warned you!" I am still undecided on this and I'm sure I'll be finding more things to add to the box as I de-stuff the rest of my house.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.