Cleaning Out the Closet

I have ample experience in the art of moving. I’ve lived in so many houses over the course of my life that not one of them stands out as “home”. Home is wherever I am living at the moment.

With moving comes packing. And with moving so often, packing becomes a science. The problem with this is once you can pack everything quickly and neatly with no problem, you start packing things you may not really need to bring along. And four houses later you wonder what is even in those boxes sitting in storage.

I’ve reached this point in my life where all the stuff seems superfluous. So much has been acquired over the years, and as I look at my plans for the future, I wonder what I’m even supposed to do with it.

With this last move I decided to purge. Anything I wasn’t certain I would use or dearly wanted to keep, was thrown away or donated. Even now I look at my possessions and wonder if I can’t get rid of more. Ideally I’d like everything I own to fit in a suitcase. It would make life simple.

If it was only clothes, I could do it no problem. But it’s the books and the instruments and the art supplies that make things complicated. Boxes of old journals and keepsakes. Some things shouldn’t be parted with. So the purge has declined to a cleanse, which will take place over time, and eventually leave me with nothing but the necessities.

One of the many old mementos I came across was a necklace. A silver chain with a small shovel pendant. The thought that goes along with it is “Bury it Deep”. It was from a church camp awhile back, where we were supposed to pick one thing holding us back, and bury it in the ground. (We all wrote it on a piece of paper and dug a hole and everything). The point wasn’t to hide a secret or bottle things up, but to leave it behind and stop letting it control you.


I thought it was kind of fitting for my purge. If something was holding me back, I got rid of it. Stuff is just stuff. And stuff shouldn’t be a controlling factor in your life.

I want to see the world, eat new foods, read and write and experience new things. So I shouldn’t let boxes of old certificates tie me down. Like I said, there are some things I still want to hold on to. But it takes very little to live happily. I like knowing if I were dropped in a new city tomorrow, with nothing but the clothes on my back, I could survive and make a life, and accomplish just as much as I could at home with a full closet.

I don’t know about you guys, but I felt like it was time to clean things out.
And now that I am settled, I should be posting more stories very soon! Thanks for reading.



One Comment Add yours

  1. sally Lindquist says:

    Well said. We have been doing that over and over the last few years. I learned the difference between “wants” and “needs” in Samoa. I can do just fine with less than the basics but I haven’t completely conquered my desires for the fun stuff. Maybe when I grow up.


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