Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Home Cleansing is Cathartic

After 21 years in our home we decided to clean house ...

That is not to say that we didn't keep the house clean.... but the amount of "things" you accumulate in that time is unbelievable. I look at my two dear friends Lisa and Rena who live in these beautiful small spaces in Manhattan. Their homes always seem to be in order, even their medicine cabinet and bathroom countertops are clean and inviting! Small space living... I have a lot of space and need to learn that you do not need to fill it!

My daughter lives in a beautiful home in Richmond and just has a sense of "what she wants and needs" and does not take in anything extra!!! She only buys or takes items that "fit" - her style and her space. She really knows and sets her boundaries! 

I always found the space for one more thing; one more set of sheets, blankets, dishes... if I liked it and wanted it, I found space for it. My kids joke that they grew up with a "sheet and blanket museum" aka our linen closet ...  To be fair, I have been in home textiles for over 20 years so needless to say I have collected "just a few things"! If it was soft and wonderful, I had to keep it! The good news is that when my kids moved to their own places, I had a lot to give them - not that they wanted it, LOL! 

How do you decide what to keep? I find I am asking myself "why did you save this in the first place?" 

Catharsis is the purification and purgation of emotions—particularly pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. as defined by Wikipedia

As I read this I think... I am not sure I agree with the pity and fear part of the definition - yet then I think, well maybe the fear of letting go.. of an item, or more so, a memory.

Small things are easier to go thru and give away - the souvenir you wanted from that flea market in Mexico on vacation; the wooden carved dolphin or duck.. what were we thinking? Yet these items have sentimental value, as I learned when I wanted to toss them and my husband didn't. Memories attached to certain items have kept us from purging too! 

When I worked for RL, I was responsible for all International Licensing - I worked with a company in Mexico and traveled there a few times.  The owner of the business sent me a beautiful wood piece of furniture, that unbenounced to me, arrived one day.  It is made of distressed wood, rich in character and I was grateful- it is small and has been with me for over 25 years - so it is sentimental in a way; a reminder of my accomplishment, time and travels.  In those years I have filled the drawers with birthday, anniversary and greeting cards I have received ... again sentimental!  Why was I saving these, when would I ever look back at them, yet when I received them I could not bear to just "throw them away"!

Every drawer is FULL!

Now as I am going through my house, looking at what I love, asking can I "lighten the load", what would I take with me if I moved to a smaller space?  I decided I have to go through these drawers... 
and examine my initial question.... asked and answered.

This one task will take time because I now want to go through many of these things, read them, think back and enjoy the memory... the reason I saved them - 

Take the time to look around you - this year, in a time when we have had to be alone with our thoughts, our homes... is the time to think about getting rid of what no longer serves you

Cleaning your house is cathartic... it is freeing in a way!
It also allows space for new - time, adventures and what new things lie ahead of us!