Decluttering, downsizing, emptying the nest… as we prepare for the move out of our home, we start this process and it’s interesting how each of us approaches it. Some things are harder to let go of than others. And what I see as a treasure (or junk), Chris may see completely opposite.
We have 2 more months to remove excess belongings and then start the packing up process in earnest, in order to hand our house over to tenants empty and clean. I’ve ordered a waste bin that still sits empty as we work out where to start. I’m not sure if it helps that we already went through this process about 5 years ago when we sold the large family home to move into this smaller house – one imagines that we got rid of the excess then, but there still seems to be a lot of boxes of “stuff” or “treasures”, depending on how you look at it. Boxes of special toys and children’s books I’m saving for the grandkids (probably still quite a few years away till they will be opened), boxes of reminders of our own childhoods – including Chris’s Marklin train set and Hotwheels cars from the 60’s, photos and certificates from our kid’s school days, a china cabinet full of my mother’s treasures, boxes and boxes (and boxes!) of Chris’s childhood memories in the form of his dad’s slide photos, business documents we are required to keep for 7 years (?), and all the tools and nuts and bolts and (rubbish) kept in the garage just in case!
In some ways, I’ve become less sentimental about things and have managed to let go of a lot of so-called “special” clothing. It’s been in a spare wardrobe for a number of years, and when we were preparing for everyone coming home for Christmas, I had to pack things away and then decided to send it all off to the charity shop without a second look. Sometimes you have to be ruthless or you might second guess yourself and decide you really do want to keep it – and I’m sure in a few months I might think “where is that…?” I’ve also managed to sell a few items I thought had special worth/value, which has helped with some of the letting-go angst. While I don’t really want to store and keep the china cabinet items, I find it hard to let them go for nothing, they had worth to my mum, and some of them had value too… but if no-one else sees their value, then I guess they need to be let go of by me too.
On another note, letting go is happening all over again with my kids…. each of them has lived away from us more than they have lived with us for the past 10 years, and each move they make, we need to let go all over again. When our daughter moved to study at University after school, we joked that she picked the furthest away uni in NZ she could from us, but then she took a year out in Perth (of any Australian city, one of the furthest away!) Coming home for two years to finish her studies, she lived at home and flatted nearby, but then off she went again, living in Sydney for two years. Home for Christmas this year has been lovely, but bittersweet as she makes a giant move to live in Mexico in a couple of days time and create a new life there – new job, new relationship, new home. Our son too, moved out of home after school, then to Auckland and for the past couple of years based himself in Canada. He’s back home for a short breather while he works out where in the world next…! It could be, though, that we move away to start our adventure before he makes his next move so he will have to let go of us! (Ha ha!) We love them both dearly and cherish the times we spend with them but know how important it is to let them go and make their own lives. I have to bite my tongue from time to time so as not to make “motherly” comments and remind myself that at their age I was married and living my own life as an adult. They ARE adults now, I am learning to stop seeing them as children.