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If you've seen the movie Field of Dreams, or even if you haven't, chances are you know it's main idea: "If you build it, they will come."

As I've been finding out while cleaning out areas of my house as part of an ongoing downsizing project, "if you have space, you will fill it." I suppose that the whole idea of nature abhorring a vacuum applies just as well. The key thing I've been figuring out is that I've kept a lot of items just because they had places I could stash them. Things I didn't necessarily need. Some I didn't even want. But there was someplace to put them, so I did, rather than dealing with them right away.

I am just glad that I spent a while a couple years ago seriously decluttering the house of huge numbers of magazines I was saving for posterity (they were of the cooking variety, and I had every. single. issue. for years and years in files), or the ones I was keeping because I hadn't gotten around to reading them yet (some of these were a subset of those just described, but others were crafting, housekeeping, and organizational (oh, the irony!) in nature). I also got rid of at least some of the toys and games my kids had given up on, some of the outgrown/unwanted clothing, etc. And I dealt with some of the filing and shredding that needed to occur, but that was disheartening, so I just stashed a bunch of it away and tried not to notice it.

Of course, this year, I've been all about filing and shredding (so much shredding!) and further purging of unused, unwanted, unloved items, whether they are toys or clothing or gifts from other people. They include things I purchased for myself because I really wanted them (at the time), but which no longer suit my taste and/or which I never used. (This explains how a brand-new (or rather, never-been-used) ice cream maker ended up at Goodwill yesterday. It seemed like a good idea, what with all those magazines encouraging me to make my own, but really, I'm not a make-your-own-ice-cream kind of girl, as it turned out.)

It has occurred to me that if I hadn't insisted on filling every single space in my house, I'd have a lot less to go through. And that I'm not missing any of the stuff I've been letting go, and am actually starting to look forward to getting rid of still more.

I'm hoping to make a pact with my sweetheart to try to prevent a recurrence of this phenomenon after I move in next year. Of course, first we have to clear out some of his spaces . . .


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kellyrfineman
Jun. 26th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
I've been thinning books as well. So, so many books. And I don't have enough shelf space for what remains, despite having taken hundreds of books to the library.
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