Solo Survivor

Reduce, re-home, recycle

I am on a mission to minimise my stuff. I have boxes in the cupboards still unopened from when I moved in four and a half years ago! I have dozens of mugs – most of which are never used – and decades old paper work that no longer is useful or needed.

So I am clearing out – I have three stacks in every room – recycle; re-home; rubbish. The recycle piles go into the recycle bin – old boxes, paper, plastics etc. The re-home pile is being set aside for our Bali Orphanage fundraiser – clothes still in good condition, toys, puzzles, ornaments and the like. The rubbish pile is anything that does not fit into the first 2 categories.

In my office, for example, I have piles of paper for shredding – almost done. I have piles of video tapes I am transferring to DVD and cassette tapes to CD – time consuming tasks but I am working through them. There’s also a pile of techy stuff like old printer cartridges, to be discarded in a responsible way.

I found a some ideas on this blog post and had already done a few before coming across it. Check it out for ideas of your own.

It’s time to get rid of the old clothes I was determined to fit into again one day, or kept just in case I put all the weight back on again; the old letters – some from people I am no longer in contact with or even remember; bears I don’t ‘love’ but hold on to because of who gave them to me; the old Christmas tree hiding in the back of the cupboard, long since replaced by a new one; user manuals for gadgets I no longer have. You get the idea.

As I have been going through this process, I have learned a lot about myself – like I have a myriad of photos of flowers and scenery and very few of myself or the people in my life over the years; that I find it easier to feel less sentimental about things I have carted around with me for years, some of it across oceans.

I have also come to realise that it is more than my physical stuff that needs to be cleaned out! I need to get rid of the pent up anger and unforgiveness; the out-dated and largely ineffective coping strategies; the destructive habits like isolation and comfort eating. There are some things I can pass on too like gratitude and humour and generosity and being tenacious. So while things may look messy for a while, in the end it will mean less clutter.

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