I’m used to having lots of items. Even as a child I was spoiled with material things, though probably compared to today’s middle-class children I would have seemed poor. Anyway, I had more than enough toys and more than enough other items when I grew older. I got married to a man who also owned a lot of things, especially books. When we moved house we needed 130 large boxes to put it all in.
I don’t know how or when it started, but during the past few years all this became more and more of a mental burden to me. It became so severe at times that when I imagined our house being burnt down and everything lost, I didn’t have a sense of loss, but of relief (Not that I really want that, after all there is another family living in the house and I’m sure they wouldn’t share my feelings about such a scenario!) I began to sell / give away items, but there was still so much I could hardly see a difference.
A few days ago I saw a young man on tv who had actually given everything away, except for the 118 most needed / treasured items. While listening to him I felt just one big emotion: ENVY! It was then I decided I had to go through with it. However, this is easier said than done, because of some mental obstacles I have to overcome first – which are:
1. Items you might need one day in the future; very good argument to keep an item which you haven’t used for years and which just collects dust in the cellar.
2. Items which are not good enough anymore to sell them / give them away, but which are still too “good” to be thrown away. We have got lots of them.
3. Keepsakes, photos etc. – you cannot just give or throw them away. We have got lots of them, too, especially as Hermann is a passionate photographer and before photos could easily be stored on hard drives, etc. they were all printed on paper. He has also got posters of one of his previous dogs.
I have started to gather items which I will give to charity and have thrown away others, but I’m also still fighting against my weaker self, so that I will be able to get rid of as many as possible of the items I might need one day, the “too good to throw away” items and the keepsakes (most of them). Next time we move I want it to fit all in about three boxes, not more. Still a long way to go, it seems.