Stuff, Storage and Letting Go
I like to fancy myself The Queen of Decluttering. Her Royal Highness of Organization. She Who Uses Shelving Wisely.
I recently discovered it’s all a regal-sized delusion.
We set aside last weekend to make space in the storage room for my fiancé’s Stuff. The wedding is 3 months away. He has Stuff he wants to move in.
I gave him a shoebox and said, “Here you go, Dear. Here’s where your Stuff goes.”
“Ha, ha, ha!” he laughed.
He thought I was kidding.
When I moved into the Mini Groovy Condo, I got rid of a lot of Stuff to fit into 690 square feet. A LOT OF STUFF. I would tell you more about it, but I don’t remember what I threw away, gave away, or donated. Goes to show how much Stuff I was hanging on to that I didn’t need.
I love that the storage units here at Condos at 3000 Farnam are on the same floor as our units (with an option to rent more on the first floor). Makes it easy to access our Stuff. I’m not quite sure if all storage units are the same size, but mine is roughly 8' x 9' x 9'. It has to serve as a garage (bikes, tools, lawn chairs, snow shoes, sleds), a basement (boxed keepsakes, seasonal clothes, holiday decorations), and a place to store Stuff I Might Need Someday But Haven’t Used in a Decade (bar bells, Bedazzler, yoga anything, bird house, rain pants).
It was a disaster in there.
Stuff was haphazardly stacked like a big Jenga game, teetering delicately, waiting for the next move.
I thought I had it handled. I really did. But you know how it goes...you toss something in there and make a mental note (ah, there's the problem) to organize it Someday.
If there was a TLC show called Hoarding In Small Spaces, I think my storage room and I would at least make it through to a second interview.
The big daddy of all my storage space-filling Stuff is ART SUPPLIES. Just typing those words gave me a little head rush. I love ART SUPPLIES. And I use the term loosely. For me, ART SUPPLIES encompasses the traditional items like paint, brushes, plaster, glues, clay, etc, but here’s where I really get into storage trouble: I love to make assemblages out of found objects. Gluing stuff to other stuff. And the “found” part of it is a little shaky. It means Stuff I bought at thrift stores, estate sales, or unique Stuff friends give me because they know I like Stuff). It means that I have a lotta weird Stuff.
I'm marrying a good man who doesn't judge. He didn't flinch or ask questions when he carried out a bag of doll arms, a huge, scratched circa 1960 matador print, or a glittery bowling ball.
He "gets me".
By the way, the glittery bowling ball was gonna make a heck of a gag gift Someday! I had good, hilarious intentions.
Other odd things included, but were not limited to: the inner parts of old radios, cheap ceramic figurines, clocks and then even more old clocks. Cigar boxes, metal boxes, boxes made from other boxes. A stone poodle-head. A big plastic shrimp.
I sorted, categorized, and organized, and at the end of the afternoon had 4 big boxes for the thrift store, 4 bags of trash, a cartload for the dumpster and no regrets.
Stashed way in the back of the storage room was The Good Stuff. Three big storage containers of Stuff from my childhood, family scrapbooks and photos, art my son made (he's now grown up and in the Navy). Reuniting with these old friends brought tears to my eyes. It was history and treasure all rolled into one ...a walk down memory lane that required a Kleenex or two.
And then I realized that we don't cry about the Stuff we toss from our lives; we cry about the Stuff we chose to keep. The Important Stuff. The Real Stuff.