The Joy of Letting Go

I mentioned a few days ago that I’m working on cleaning out my apartment. Today was a very successful day for this project. Got through all of my clothes (believe me, there are lots of those). Did it in less than half the time I had allotted for the project. Then I took everything I’ve collected to donate over the last couple of weeks to Goodwill. I have now reclaimed a portion of my apartment. I am so relieved.

I’ve always been very inclined to hold on to things – I might need this later, it was a gift, I’ve always wanted this. Lately, though, not so much. Sure, I still have lots of stuff. I really do. But what I have is less than half of what I owned 5 years ago. And it feels amazing. I still have a few places to go through, things that I will be minimizing even more. I’m so excited to do it, too. I can open all of my closets, and find what I’m looking for at a glance. There aren’t stacks of boxes on the floor anymore. I’m pretty sure I now know exactly where to find anything I own – and I can get to it without moving a hundred other things. (Exaggeration, I promise.) It makes me feel lighter.

And beyond even the great satisfaction and joy of knowing I was able to let go of all those things is the knowledge of what that leaves me. Everything I am keeping means more to me, in one way or another, than the things I’ve given away. Some have higher practical value, some have higher sentimental value. But they are all things that really are important to me. Sorting through my material possessions is helping to me reach a better understanding of myself. I can say now why things are important to me, or why they used to be. I’ve even begun to understand that my value judgments will change over time. Things that are important to me now might not be later. And that’s okay, because there will be other things that are important to me.

Like a clean and open living space. I’m so tired of clutter, and I am surrounded by it. This is why I started cleaning out in the first place. And why I will keep going. Bit by bit, I am reclaiming my space. I am making it more my own, by making my surroundings suit me. It feels amazing. And honestly, feels like a good first step in making me more…well, me.

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