This is me just blowing off some mental steam about packing and decluttering!

How does one human being collect this much STUFF in a matter of a few years? It hasn’t gotten to a point where it inhibits my life or interaction with the world, but I can kind of identify with hoarders like those that appear on that Intervention-type show. Why do I have so much junk in my apartment to the point that it feels clausterphobic? But more importantly, why is it SO HARD to just get RID of some of it! See, I can’t even type out what I almost dared to say, which is get rid of ALL OF IT! I am so attached to things. And analyzing my attachment, I think a lot of it is potential usefulness of things. I can’t stand to see something go to waste. A lot of this clutter is stuff I “rescued” intending to reuse in some way or thinking someone else might be able to use it or thinking someday I might need it. I have tons of partially finished sewing projects: half-hemmed dresses, dresses I intended to hem, dresses I’ve pinned but haven’t hemmed yet, pillows, patches on pants… To go right along with it, I have a large bin of fabric and scraps, a big bag of knitting materials including a 1/4 finished blanket, at least two drawers of sewing accessories, acryllic paints and brushes, a bag of crochet materials, piles of potential scrapbooking candidates. It’s ridiculous, especially when compared to the amount of time per week I spend doing crafts.

I also found several boxes of what I can’t find another word for besides “trinkets” or what I kept menally labeling “keepsakes.” They’re just little objects or items I’ve found or been given or somehow collected over the years. Much of it is really useless or junk, but I have a weird attachment to them! Especially if I’ve held on to something for a long time… it gets “seniority” or something in my collection and becomes even more impossible to throw away. Sentimental value, I guess it is, because I know no one would appreciate these things if they didn’t have the associated memories that go with them.

Then there’s the cool, kitschy, found things. That’s why I have a bit too much furniture and knick knacks. I love everything I can hang on the wall and I love the disjointed whimsical look of all my wall-things. It’s the floor and surface-space occupying things I now take issue with. Too many objects whose only purpose is to literally sit and gather dust. Books and VHS collection, I condemn you to this category too! The English major and scholar in me compels me to keep too many books when the truth is I rarely reread anything besides my ultimate favorites. Sometimes I pick up anthologies of authors or collect cool looking old editions, just…. because. And there’re all the books I pick up along the way from someone else’s collection or from a bargain bin, thinking, someday I will read this. VHS’s, I’ve collected from a young age and lots of them are just old favorites from my youth. Same with a lot of my books.

Papers….. oooooh papers. How do people know what to keep and what to throw out?? A lot of it is old work, and something in me cringes to toss it out. I’m not a student anymore, though I might be again someday. But I’m still a student of life! A lot of these notes are from studying things that really expanded my mind and stimulated or challenged me. I dunno, I sound like I’m just justifying my collecting, but… I’m not ready to throw that stuff out yet. But what about receipts from repairmen, big purchases, medical stuff, other important documents? Do you have to keep that stuff FOREVER or when can you finally throw it out without fear of regretting it? I hate that stuff crowding me.

And this next one will be obvious to anyone who knows me: Clothes. Oh my sweet clothes. Oh my dear dear dresses, shorts, blouses, shoes, bags, sweaters, coats, slacks… I collect you all piece by piece. I find you vintage in thrift stores, handed down, I rescue you from giveaway bins, I adopt you from yard sales. As far as the dollar value goes, these items are not worth very much at all, but it’s the painstaking assembly of all these items, discovering just the way to wear them and how to put them together that makes it hard to fathom parting with them. Nothing else in my life makes me feel quite so “me” as my wardrobe. And now they’re all telling me the reasonable logic I loath to hear: Only take a few things and shop for the rest of it when you get there. I do love to shop, and trust me, shopping shall be done. But I feel dizzy and ungrounded at the thought of clothing my frame in strange garments I haven’t even met yet in a strange land. I’ve already given away truckloads (I am not exaggerating) of clothing yet my pile of “must have” is still towering a bit too high. I have this irrational fear that if I can’t dress in the clothes from my collection, my personality will lose its mooring and start to float off into multiple directions.

My attachment and ego and whatever else all this is are my least attractive qualities and betray the weaker more undeveloped aspects of my humanhood. I want to fight it but…. I’m listless and lazy. Walking into my apartment and seeing boxes everywhere and my whole life stirred up causes the organization of my very brain to stir up, and I feel my instincts taking over urging me to walk past it all and fall into a coma on my bed. Soon to be not my bed, staring at my soon to be not my walls. It’s enough to make a girl type out a rant, I tell ya.

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