Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When the purger met the pinecone collection

Purging is hard to do when you have children


I'm not sure why getting rid of one's belongings feels so good, but it does. In fact, I'd venture to say that purging is addictive.

Sorting and organizing makes me feel in command of my life. I know where things are. I know they belong there. And the items that sat around, collected dust, and took up precious space without demonstrating their usefulness were hauled to the curb for donation.

Amid the stress of downsizing, this feeling of command was one of the things that kept me going. Every day I tackled a room and purged all but the essentials. When I was done, a sense of calm filled me. It was the same feeling I got when I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. I felt centered.

Today, things are different. Instead of downsizing I will move into a bigger space. In some ways this expansion is wonderful. Finally, there will be enough room for my family's winter coats and boots. Finally there will be separate bathrooms. Finally, a larger workspace for me.

I'm determined, though, to make sure this expansion doesn't balloon into acquisition. So I'm hanging onto the downsizing mindset: the purging bug has caught me once again.

There's one problem, though. My kids are older now, and they are loudly voicing their love for pencils, stuffed animals, erasers, and broken remote control cars. This causes anxiety on my part, because the value of a stash of 20 paper airplanes, the train calendar from 2011, and the muddy pinecone collection are difficult for me to wrap my head around.

I'm glad we're moving before school gets out for the summer.

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