February 7, 2018
Just the thought of going through stored boxes can give the best of us a pain. Going through the process of right-sizing to a smaller home takes a lot this kind of stress. When Mr. Blogger and I moved to Stillwaters in 2007 I remember getting rid of a lot of “stuff” and yet we still had a storage unit for many months after the move.
The process of weeding things out and finding the right places to send your treasures takes time and while you are in the middle of this process it can seem endless. I remember we were so proud of ourselves when we were finally able to close out our storage unit and have all our belongings under our roof!
Throughout this process there is a good amount of struggle with 1) what to keep; 2) what does it mean if you give away what was a gift from someone; or 3) how to give up keepsakes from people who are no longer with us. Right-sizing is an emotional, as well as physical process, that takes extraordinary energy and strength. It also a process that never ends because once you have moved into the smaller space you have to keep sorting and disposing to keep things cleared away.
This week I helped a life-long best friend sort through her keepsakes, gifts and years of other important items. This was hard work but at the same time it brought up so many memories and stories. We had a grand time rediscovering long forgotten memories, long-buried remnants of childhood and leavings of grown children. I am sure for my friend it was bittersweet to be right-sizing but at the same time it was a project hopefully made better by our hours of reminiscing and discoveries as we traveled down memory lane.
This process of getting rid of things can be likened to the grieving process after loss. The five stages of grief were originally theorized by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. The theory that grieving individuals go through these five stages (not necessarily in order either) was proposed in her book, “On Death and Dying,” which was published in 1969.
There is a degree to which we all want to deny the need for sifting through our things, bargaining with ourselves that we will do this at a later date and maybe even depression over the thought of the whole process. Bitter or time consuming as the process may be there is a light at the end of the tunnel – the peace of doing the hard work so someone else doesn’t have to and the sense of accomplishment in a job well done!
Quote of the Week:
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Unknown
If in your adventure in right-sizing you find you need a place to donate things – consider the new Lewis County Seniors Thrift Shop located next to the ACE Hardware in Chehalis. It opened Monday and all profits will go to supporting Lewis County Senior Centers. The address for the thrift store is 749 South Market Blvd. Check it out to donate or make purchases.