What is it like to try to get rid of EVERYTHING you own?
Well, it’s daunting. Utterly overwhelming. And very liberating.
I’ve just begun. I won’t be renting a storage unit, and I don’t want to burden any of my friends or family members with the task of watching over my stuff, so I have to look at every item in my house and ask “Do I want to carry this around the world on my back?”
Almost everything I own has a story. My grandmother made the afghan. The teacup was a gift from a beloved friend. I brought that pouf back from a trip to Morocco. That ceramic pot is the one my father cleverly designed to cook rice at high altitudes, and I brought it back after his funeral in Colorado. I refinished that dresser myself and I’m so proud of how it turned out.
I’ve discovered that I love each and every one of my possessions with all my heart. I lift up each item and spend a moment savoring its backstory. Sometimes I mist up. I turn the memory over in my heart and enjoy the feeling of it.
Then I chuck the item into a box!
I have boxes filled with items for Goodwill, Homeless Ministries, e-bay, Craigslist. I have baskets for various friends and family members. Paperwork, photos and videos will be scanned and backed up — then tossed.
These beloved objects represent people and memories, but the people and memories exist independently of the things. I have loved living with these items, but I am happy to be freeing myself of them. They are not my life; they are an unimportant distraction from life.