Coincidental to my decision to "come out of the closet" with my plan to become a Minimalist, an Oprah episode was shown on TV this week, a re-run about hoarders.
Thank heavens I'm not a hoarder. Really. I'm not. I can get through my doorway and walk from room to room without needing to move anything out of the way.
Our first inclination, when opening the garage door, was to call in a truck and have it all hauled away. But, we started poking around a bit, and opened boxes, some of them holding papers dated from fifty years before. We realized there were things of a personal value to family members. Military keepsakes, family photos and movies, rolls and rolls of undeveloped film! This would not be a simple matter of tossing things! It took us more than a month to clean it out.
It was a challenging job and revealed much about my friend's family life. He reminisced as we encountered his boxed up memories. We found bags of clothing from when the grandchildren were little, a cache of his mother's purses, some still containing make up. We discovered a complete set of antique imported china ware carefully wrapped in crumbling tissue paper that must have been worth a thousand dollars. We were mystified as we opened boxes tightly packed of carefully washed plastic margarine tubs and lids. It gave me pause to consider the extra plastic storage containers cluttering my bottom kitchen cupboard. Just thinking about that bothered me enough to make me reassess my own growing collection of goodies.
Since that time, I have made a conscious effort to not squirrel away a mountain of stuff in my garage. Unfortunately, it has often been a molehill.