I like challenges and experiments. They seem to motivate me to move forward on various goals. So, I was listening to a video by Courtney Carver today that was part of her 21 day Declutter Challenge. She recommended writing a goodbye letter to your stuff. I've never heard this idea before and I probably should have done it years ago, but here goes....
Dear excess stuff,
We've had a long relationship. Growing up I had a small bedroom and it was pretty full. I especially loved my stuffed animal collection. As an only child the animals served as my friends and confidants. My parents did not have a lot of money but they spoiled me at Christmas. It was an expression of love. I also saved much of my school work as proof of my accomplishments. So, I guess you, my stuff, represented love and accomplishment.
During the early years of marriage, I went through my first episode of depression. I was in a very isolated environment and my husband and I both turned to acquiring things to fill a void. (I also turned to food but that's another story.) We collected movies, books, crafts, electronics, and much more. It filled our free time but not so much the loneliness.
Years later, I looked around our house and felt like I could not breathe. See, even as much friendship, love, and pride as you had given me over the years, it had slowly turned to suffocation. I was buried under piles that no longer gave me joy. I could not share my home with my friends because it was embarrassing. I spent way too much time looking for, taking care of, shifting, organizing, and buying more stuff.
So, I began to dig myself out from under your cover. I gathered the first bag of things that I was no longer using. I sent it to a thrift store and got a huge surprise. It gave me great joy to know that you, my stuff, were going to go to live with other people who needed you and would find uses for you. Instead of sitting idle in my house, you would be helping someone else.
Also, I discovered that the more excess I cleared out, the more useful space I found. My house felt clearer and more peaceful. I began to find new priorities in my life that I did not have room for before.
So, thank you for serving me so well, but now it's time for me to send you on a new journey as I continue mine.