Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to Let It Go

empty boxes from discarding the unnecessary
The purging and packing has been going strong this week along with so much trash that Beloved is thinking we may need to go to a landfill. The car loads to Good Will continue, too. 

No, we are not hoarders but we've been blessed with large houses where things just accumulate over the years. Now that we are moving to a place with no basement whatsoever, and three (yes, 3!) guest rooms, along with a drastic change in climate, the requirements of our home and the necessities to be comfortable will be  different.

Getting rid of the old: when I talk to friends about retirement and moving, invariably the conversation stalls at this subject. People dread going through their things and making the decisions of what to keep and what to release. 

I know. I have shed literal tears as boxes were opened to reveal objects of significance from my childhood clear up to yesterday. 

But sentimentality takes up space, and it's costly to transport on a cross-country move.

Tough decisions have to be made. I prayed about it. I really did. Some of these things are packed away, for what? I don't pull them out yearly to look at them; I don't let anybody else play with them; and to put it all out on display requires more clutter-inducing furniture and money. Possessions on display need to be kept clean. 

Hmm. Maybe some of these decisions aren't so hard to make after all. 

Then there is the matter of arriving at the new place and needing to find a place for everything. THAT is stressful when there is too much! (spoken by one who knows)

Keep in mind that what is here is just stuff. If we don't dispose of it, a flood or a tornado or some other disaster could whisk it away from us in the blink of an eye! 

When I stop in the midst of those mental gymnastics to remember where I am headed, focusing on mental images of what is ahead of me,  the conundrums of today diminish. Decisions come easier; images of what I want to accomplish sharpen; the ability to release comes easier.

As these thoughts turned over in my mind, I was reminded that as followers of Jesus Christ, we should not allow ourselves to get bogged down or entangled with things having no eternal value. Our   heavenly home is ahead of us. We are to work toward building up treasures there while we are here, not resting so heavily on that which is temporal.

My conclusions came down to this:

1) do I really like and enjoy the item
2) is it useful to me in a practical way
3) can it be stored easily and at no great cost
4) will it speak well of me when I die and my family finds it
5) should I take a snapshot of it and then dispose of it responsibly

this is a keeper


  1. We moved a lot when hubby was in the Marines, but we really didn't own a thing at that time...but, we spent 20 yrs in Alabama and when we got ready to move here to NY 4 yrs ago, the purging began and yes, tears were shed. A.lot.of.them.

    Keeping you in prayer sweet friend...ohhhhhh how the adventure begins, smiles. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.

    1. Thank you for the prayer support. All adventures have their ups and downs -- that's what makes them an adventure, right?! Blessings to you.

  2. Oh I hear you and need to follow your good example. Now about the there a memory associated with it? It is pretty and would go anywhere. Then, too, it is easily replaced. I could send you three more. 🙃 All the best as you do this challenging work of "letting go."

    1. The conch is a special treasure here in the Rocky Mountain West where nature has given us a lot of rocks! (smile) It is from Beloved's family and I don't know its origin.

  3. Having just gone through this, I know exactly what you are writing about.

  4. Your sorting and weeding advice and experience are very timely for me as we've started the process anticipating moving in the near future. We have a huge garage/shop/loft space that we've managed to fill up to the gills, ouch. I think I'll start saying some prayers as I walk out to the garage and continue dealing with the accumulation.

  5. Easy to say, harder to do. But the Lord gave me the strength to let some things (a lot, actually) go, and I know He will do the same for you.

    This is a big deal and you are the best one to do it -- saving your children the effort after you are gone, and saving yourselves $$ on the actual move. Blessings.

  6. Oh, Barbara, having just gone through this except that our move was just 5 miles down the road, it is a daunting task. Your questions are very thought provoking and I know my kids will wonder why in the world we kept some of the stuff we have kept. But, I've told them to get what they want out of the house and leave the rest to sell in an estate sale. Blessings to you and may things go as smoothly as possible.

    1. I like your advice to your children and it bears repeating: get what they want out of the house and leave the rest to sell in an estate sale.

  7. Even though we are not moving, or not planning to, I still have been trying to let go of things. So many of them my girls will not want so why hand on to them. But honest to goodness, last year I got rid of a couple things I had had no use for nor wanted in years, and ended up needing them within a week or two of donating them. I think one I had to go buy but for the life of me cannot think what it was.

    1. One of my husband's favorite sayings for years has been "The definition of junk is something you don't need until two days after you get rid of it." You are a living example of that. It's scary, isn't it?!