I recently tossed away a freshly laundered, thirteen-year-old shirt. I had received it for completing an AIDS walk in Central Park, and over the years it’s become my favorite, well worn, and snuggly pajama shirt. I was kind of sad to see it go in all honesty, stains and all.
I’ve never been terribly attached to items in my life—if anything I like to purge every now and then because it feels really good to find the floor again and not have to weave through an obstacle course in my own apartment. This act of letting go is greater than the desire to hold on to old memories.
Bryan is different. He’s a self-professed collector of goods and he doesn’t mind clutter. So much so that a bike in the living room and a Storm Trooper on a chair don’t seem to faze him in the slightest (PS: I promise I’m not saying this to be spiteful; I just don’t think he notices in the way that I do).
It dawned on me that the reason I am so hyperaware has a great deal to do with my childhood. My parents lived in a house filled with tchotchkes. While some may call their decorating style shabby chic and eclectic, all I could see was clutter and mess. On windowsills, on the bathroom vanity, and on every available surface in my parents house. STUFF. There were Christmas cards on mantels, boxes that had never been thrown away, and Halloween decorations that lived on the glass door of their entryway year-round. It drove me nuts and made me anxious about having company over.
All these years later, the need to keep a tidy home, even when the task seems insurmountable and when available storage is never enough, is a real concern. I have no problem tossing things I’m not attached to in a quest to achieve a minimalist lifestyle.
Do you form attachments to items in your home, or are you able to purge when the clutter becomes problematic?