After my divorce, I downsized our living space twice in 2 years and landed in what I hoped would be a temporary apartment with a garage holding the rubble of our lives.
Some were quick to label me a hoarder, but, I stand behind my common sense behind my nonsense:
A) I could make money: I worked at a company that yielded piles of collectables. With feverish fanatics trolling Ebay for such goods, I “knew” that I had a goldmine.
B) My situation was temporary: Why get rid of lawn chairs when soon I will have a home that I love needing to be furnished?
C) I wanted my kids’ lives intact: I wanted to preserve their comfort zone, in their room amongst their toys, while their lives swirled.
D) I didn’t want my dreams nickel and dimed: Although my dream for how I’d imagined my family changed, I wasn’t ready to let go of it in a garage sale.
So, I parted with easy stuff, bought to “pretty up our home” to sell it. Originally, I enjoyed the parting gifts, but they didn’t feel right. While fundraising for a cause, I held garage sales and hoped my goldmine would get me to my goal! It didn’t, but I discovered that my neighbors treasured these gems! I have since given them more collectable delights.
Along the way, we’ve grown roots. I still don’t love my apartment, but it’s almost the only home my children remember and I value how much that memory means to them. We’ve grown comfortable in the community, we love our neighbors, and we are building piles of memories.
Now, with a moving sale and a new year creating urgency, I am again in my garage. We are not moving, our neighbors are. As I go through boxes uncovering unused things, I realize that we have thrived without them. I also see a family, setting up a new life, whose baby may love these things. I understand that these are just things. Now their value is based on how much richer our lives are by contributing to others’ joy. The bonus – we are no longer anchored in the past by things!