So, I should be eagerly packing all my things. But I promised that I was going to go through everything I owned before packing this time, donating and throwing away as necessary, and I'm still in that stage. I'm making tons of progress though! I forgot to take a picture of the whole stash of ELEVEN 30-gallon black trash bags full of clothes, shoes and handbags, plus a four piece luggage set, seven foot area rug and giant box of knick-knacks, but let me just assure you that I donated as much as a rented Ford Focus can hold.
|I did take a picture of all the shoes first though.|
|And the shoe boxes. Go me.|
There will be another trip to Goodwill in my future, but the majority of it is done. Coming back home to my less cluttered apartment after dropping it all off this weekend was all the motivation I needed. I want to give away all the shit I can live without.
So I finally had the energy to tackle the "hoarding closet." It's not even an exaggeration. Here's the thing -- when you move from a 710 square foot apartment to an 885 square foot apartment with two walk-in closets, two "regular" closets, a linen closet and a giant pantry, it's easy to just ... keep everything. Seriously, I think for the last two years it's been like, "oh, well there's room for it here on this shelf so I'm just gonna put it right here and forget about it."
That is a really great life plan when you then have to move two years later.
The majority of that stuff was in a big walk-in closet in my entryway. I don't even let guests see that closet. Everyone who visits my place thinks I'm all neat and organized and I don't want to ruin that whole facade.
So I started in on the hoarding closet this weekend. It only took about five minutes before I was pissed at myself. I pulled a plastic bag off one of the shelves, opened it up to find a smattering of totally random crap and said, "why THE FUCK did I keep all this shit?!"
And that's how things went from there.
Realizations that occurred during the process, however:
-- If you've ever sent me a letter, card or note in the past 15 years, I still had it and I read it again this weekend. But now I'm only keeping the ones that made me tear up.
-- Saying, "hhmm, what's this?" and unfolding a Legends of the Fall movie poster will make you feel really bad about yourself. Hi, my name is Tiffany and I finally understand that I might be a bit of a hoarder.
-- Turns out getting rid of shoes is a lot easier than getting rid of books in those two Rubbermaid tubs I found at the back of the closet. No, I haven't seen those books in two full years and yes, it still hurt to try to decide which ones to part with.
-- There's not much in the hoarding closet worthy of donating. Most of the trash bags are filled with actual trash now. What does this say about too much of the past I've been holding on to?
-- I have already begun telling myself those familiar lies: "I will never let this happen again."
-- It's an amazing feeling to come across that box of stuff you thought you'd always want to keep to remind yourself of that first guy you thought you fell in love with, open the box briefly to see what it is, and toss it right in the trash without feeling a thing. That's progress, I think.
-- I'm a little glad for my hoarding tendencies when I come across handwritten letters from my grandma or every care package note my mother ever sent during my first year of college 2,500 miles from home.
So I'm surviving. And I'll get there eventually. I think what I learned from this weekend is that it's ok to look back a little at where you've been, so long as you keep moving forward in the end.