When you’ve moved approximately 50 times by the time you are 30 the inclination to NOT hold on to things becomes a standard. Have I used this in 6 months? Is this out of season/style? Do I need to lose weight to fit into this? Are normal questions that I ask myself when clearing out clutter. Another question was am I having any more children. And if the answer was no, as it was with the others, then there was a big purge about to happen.
Getting rid of possessions was a 3 phase mission.
- First I would call my closest friends or post things on social media for free.
- Second I’d sell what I could.
- Third, and this was usually all done in a matter of 2 weeks, I’d donate it to a thrift shop with a charity built into it. (I’ve been on the other side of charity for a long time. First when my mom lost everything in fire when I was 4 and then many times after.)
With that said I can see the Purging Peggys out there are fist pumping the air and sending me virtual pats on the back. I’m telling you to stop now. Because I have learned there is value in storing treasures. And I mean more than the baby blankets or photographs, I mean anything that can ease another’s burden, anything that someone may post on Facebook and say , “Hey I need this.”
I’m pretty sure that this change of idea started with my aunt and my grandmother. They were the two people in my life growing up who saved EVERYTHING! My granny’s outbuilding decorated my first house after I married my husband. When I had my first biological child my aunt had a basement full of baby essentials and a whole collection of Disney video tapes. That she let me have.
I still have those tapes. My youngest daughter, who is 11, holds tight to them.
A good friend of mine, Anne Vanderlaan, is an artist whose work has hung in Oprah’s beach house. A few years ago she had to move out of state then out of country she had all these great pieces of art she painted that had to be kept in a heated and cooled space, at the time I was living in a 9oo square foot apartment. I have every single one. I’ve moved 4 times since I obtained those paintings and they are always hung on a wall of my house. It probably helps that I love them too, huh?
Now that I have another baby. That’s right even though my husband had a vasectomy I have another baby. He is with me every weekday and sometimes on weekends. He’s my adopted little nephew that I sort of fell into caring for while his grandma works.
Let me tell you the idea of babysitting and running a marketing company and a publishing house at first gave me anxiety…harsh anxiety. Then I remembered I’ve raised 4 kids and been an entrepreneur for almost 2 decades I can do this.
I just need to be outfitted with the right equipment.
That’s where my Hoarding Harriet friends came in. Of course I went to my best friends first and they sent me to someone else. But that what’s best friends are for brainstorming. Now I have baby swings, bouncers, clothes, bottles, and anything else I could imagine. Now to also give credit his grandma gave me a budget and said she’d buy what I need and I did hit the thrift shops.
But I wanted to take the opportunity to thank those women who so selflessly offered me what they had. These are women who could have taken these things to a children’s consignemet shop and got credit to buy what they may need for their growing family. Instead they offered it freely and happily to me. It puts me in mind of the parable taught by Jesus of the widow’s mite. She was making her offering to the Lord and it was so very little in the eyes of the world. She was even mocked and scorned for offering so little. That’s when the Savoir said her offering was the greatest in His eyes, for you see she gave all she had.
So it’s with humility and gratitude that I offer my change of heart about storing things to the Hoarding Harriets out there. While I still believe everything in moderation you have made a great impression on me.