Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Purging

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on April 8, 2008

No, not bulimia — more like “spring cleaning on steroids.”

Ahhhh, it feels great!!

By nurture or nature I’m a bit of a pack-rat. I admit it. Keeping something because “I might need it later” is in my blood — my dad never threw anything away that could potentially be used again. And I must say there is some benefit to this philosophy. Within reason. If you have the space.

But many years ago, I was introduced to the concept of purging what you don’t need. I like this better. I can’t remember the author’s name but s/he talked about the mental drag that having too much stuff creates in the mind. S/he said that even if you think you’re not thinking about it, if it’s in your attic then it’s in your mind. That’s true. After I read that book, I did my first purge. I did feel mentally relieved when I physically relieved my house of that stuff I didn’t need and wouldn’t use again.

Since then, I’ve been more careful about what I collect around me; and I’ve purged several more times. It was amazing, actually — the first time I did it, I got rid of so many garbage bags full of stuff (and I think I was only about 20 years old, and still living at home); yet a few months later, I purged again, and got rid of several more garbage bags full of stuff. Ah, relief!

I’m trying to talk my husband into it. Or, rather, I’ve given up talking and am just hoping that he’ll catch the “spring cleaning” bug. We are considering moving in a few months anyway, so this is the perfect time to go through and get rid of stuff we don’t need. And my husband has a lot of stuff we don’t need. In fact, he’s got several boxes worth of stuff that he hasn’t even touched in the whole five years that we’ve been married (and who knows how long before that!), but he doesn’t want to get rid of them. (Yes, it’s true. I married my father. At least in that aspect.)

Here’s just a few items that I would love to get rid of, because they have not been used in 5 years, and I don’t foresee them being used in the next 5 years, if not longer:

  • his old college textbooks and notebooks. Yes. College. Over 10 years ago, plus.
  • his art books, and books that he’s keeping just in case he decides he wants to paint something out of it (he hasn’t touched his paints since we’ve been married).
  • lots of other books (we’re both bibliophiles, but he takes it to the next level — books are sacred objects that are to be acquired and never gotten rid of… even if you don’t read them… even if you don’t want them any more… even if you will never read them.
  • his pilot/flying books and other miscellaneous stuff (he was planning on becoming a pilot, until Sept. 11, 2001, when the flight industry went south, yet he has kept a lot of stuff just in case we are ever in a financial situation that will allow him to start flying again and get a private license. Um, yeah. He’s a teacher. This kind of “spare money” doesn’t exist on a teacher’s salary. By the time he’ll make enough money for it, he’ll be too old to fly.

So, we’ll see how it goes. Right now, I’ve got our spare room half-filled with stuff for a yard sale (yay!!), and I just sold $40 worth of baby stuff through our local cheapcycle!

So now, I never have to think about those items again! Ahhhh, relief!!

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