The Weight of Things

dish brush collection (1 of 1)
What is the strangest thing you collect?  For me, it’s dish brushes.  I never set out to collect dish brushes; somehow in my quest to find the perfect dish brush, and in my husband’s quest to bring home from the store the type of bottle brush I was asking for, I ended up with quite a collection.  I use them all too.  I’ve found that each one works for a specific task.

Stuff has been on my mind a lot lately.  I feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my house.  Possessions have weight, and it is pressing down on me.  I’ve been trying to weed out all the superfluous junk that I don’t need or use.  My goal is to go through the house each day and remove something from each room.  That something will go in the donate box if it is still functional, the recycle if that’s an option (like all those jars I keep because they have a pretty shape), or straight to the trash if it’s beyond use.  On the days I remember to do this, I do pretty good.

I’m reminded of my friend Sharon from years ago.  She lived in a huge, old Victorian home, stuffed to the brim with things.  She decided to sell the house and all her belongings and move to Santa Fe.  She sold almost every last thing.  I was amazed and impressed with Sharon for doing this.

She told me about the sense of freedom and relief she got from letting go of her possessions, and about how keeping those things had been eating her life away.  Possessions do that.  If they are valuable, you have to worry if someone will take them from you.  You have to put time and effort into the upkeep of your belongings.  The part I hate is wondering where things are.  If my home only had a few things in it, I would always know where they were.    As I write this, there is a closet to my left that is simply bulging with crap, most of it I don’t need or even know it’s in there.  I hate opening that closet to look for something, because it is always an ordeal.

Yet, it is hard to let go of things.  I’ve been contemplating lately just how much I could let go of if I needed to.  Truthfully, I am very connected to my things.  My dishes and pots and pans are home to me.  They speak to me of hearth and kitchen, safety and a full belly.  My books, too, give me comfort, all 70 zillion of them.  Some I haven’t read yet, so don’t want to let go of.  Of the ones I have read, some remind me of a special time in my life, some are ones I refer to, others are my favorite authors.  And then there are all the art supplies I’ve collected over the years and didn’t use up.  Will I ever really use them up?  And yet… I feel the sheer amount of stuff blocks energy flow, makes it hard for me to get the most important things done.

So I’m going to continue to channel Sharon as I clean up this clutter and send it off to somebody or somewhere else.  As I go along, I’ll ask myself about each thing, if it is really useful, is it beautiful, do I even like it?

So tell me, what is the strangest thing you collect?




4 Replies to “The Weight of Things”

  1. great article! i too have been experiencing the lightness and freedom that comes with paring down the crap that accumulates so effortlessly. after living in a 3brm 2b home (which i hung onto for several years after my divorce) i finally moved to a smaller “cottage,” and now i’m comfortable in a tiny house that’s basically two rooms connected by a closet that has a tiny utility bathroom in it. rent is reasonable, and housekeeping practically nil! no couch, just a couple of chairs and stools; no table, just a counter that has to serve multiple purposes. fine and dandy! on the other hand, there are things that i treasure, as you said, for the memories, or the usefulness, or just for the beauty that they bring to my life. i think it’s all about balance. if you get quiet, and listen, then you’ll know…

  2. Boy oh boy have I been on this same page since the beginning of the year. Terrible place to be caught in that netherland between I never use this and I can’t let go of it. But I am working diligently little by little to pare down this huge amount of collected stuff. Even went through my Christmas treasures in January and got rid of at least a forth of it!

    Strangest thing i collect? Hummmmmmm….. bird feathers, oddly shaped river smoothed stones, bits of oddly shaped wood, lovely bits of nature that I stumble upon and consider gifts.

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