This is my secret fix when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I am equal parts tuckered out and feeling the urge to purge!  This past weekend my husband and I moved my mother-in-law from the Detroit area to Petoskey, Michigan…closer to us. 

Moving is such a big deal. Both physically and emotionally.

Our weekend, along with a weekend in December, was full of sorting and shifting, thrifting what will certainly not fit into this new much smaller space and tucking what “might” fit into the new space into box after box after box.  And then to haul it all out to the moving truck, drive it 5 hours north, and then today, unload and unpack it. 

It was physically exhausting on us, but I can only imagine how hard it is emotionally, at 79, to sort through years and years of memories and give away or sell much of the things you’ve been holding on to.

I don’t know if my mother-in-law gets the same sense of satisfaction and freedom that I get from releasing and culling what I no longer need, but she valiantly let go of so very much.  Unfortunately, due to time, she also had to release the pleasure of retelling the stories behind the things.   I feel sorrow for that, but alas we had a huge job and only a handful of days to do it.

I love sorting through my things and getting rid of what no longer serves.  Simply love it. 

It’s okay if we all don’t.  After, all variety is what makes us all so interesting.

I’m not sure my wee son will inherit my love for culling my “things” to the essentials.

Honestly, he’s showing signs of hoarding. 

Of course, he’s 5…so there’s hope yet!  (I know this is dripping with judgment, and I JUST said it’s okay…but, what can I say?)  AND he has a mama that whisks things away when he’s not looking. 

Now, don’t look at me like that! 

You have no idea how prolific of a maker he is!  Truly.  Mass quantities of creations come from his imagination. mass. quantities.

It makes me beam with pride and equal parts dismay as I see how many creations we need to find room for in our snug little 1,000 square foot house.  Creations like the Pizza Bot…a 3-feet tall cardboard feat of engineering and ingenuity that I believe delivers pizzas and maybe also does the dishes?  (maybe that was wishful thinking on my part!).  And the 3 versions of the solar oven, made from boxes and tin foil…”yes, we have to keep them all!”, he exclaims in exasperation.  Not to mention any and all bits of recycling that might have a purpose in his art and making in the next 500 years.

“Mom, can we move to a junkyard?”, he says to me.  Now to be perfectly honest I think visiting a junkyard with its promise of treasures untold would be awesome…but to live in one…well, if you were to peek into his closet, you would see that we’re actually well on our way!

Honestly, I didn’t know for sure if he noticed that sometimes a few things ended up missing until recently he couldn’t find a machine he had made ages ago and he said to me, “it probably got burned”.  Yikes!  I’m not winning any mama awards in this arena. 

So I made him a promise that I wouldn’t throw out or donate his things, but he had to find a space from them to live in his room…semi-neatly.  A promise easily made and impossibly kept by a 5-year-old.  We’re working on a solution that doesn’t drive me to madness or him to hoarding.

But, I digress.

I love culling things…fabrics I no longer love, extra utensils in the kitchen drawers, tried and discarded shampoos, clothes that don’t light me up.  You get the idea. 

Oh, and, I get such a gleeful feeling when I use something up…a bottle of lotion, a pen, a box of crackers. 

Do you get that?  (I have a friend who gets stressed when something is nearly gone.  I love that we are such interesting creatures in our small ways of feeling safe and secure.)

In fact, when I’m feeling overwhelmed a good “sort and purge” is sure to bring me peace and contentment. 

I’m sure there’s something deeper behind this.  A need for control of my environment perhaps?  Or a desire for space.  Space to breathe and simply be in a life that often feels overfilled with obligations and other’s needs.  Or maybe it’s the deep sense of satisfaction that I get from knowing myself and knowing that I have what I need, plus some, but not too much.  (how’s that for vague!)

How about you? 

Do you “Marie Kondo” your space or are you hoarding the recycling?

Next week…speaking of purging and keeping what lights you up…I’ll share my wardrobe planning ritual!