Attacking the attic, sentimental items, and Joshua Becker

I’ve really missed posting but I do have other blog commitments, a part time job, a full-time four year old, the daily challenge of homeschooling twin tweens, and am pretty deeply committed to 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Please don’t mistake my slow posting to a lack of commitment, that is far from true.

Here at the Prescott house, we are still deep in the minimalism journey and working on a daily/weekly basis toward our goals, which are slowly coming into better focus. I say “we” because my family has definitely gotten completely on board. They were never resistant but I do think a few months of hard-core dedication on my part has proven this is not a passing phase for me, and becoming more of a habit for all of us. gratitude-as-an-attitude-quote

As a quick aside, if you want to read some of my other blog posts around the web, here are my most recent:

Minimalism: Discovering My Maternal Optimism

9 Easy Ways to Jump-Start Your Minimalism Journey

12 Kid Gifts that Won’t Clutter Your Home

9 Unique and Meaningful Holiday Gifts for Adults

Notice a trend? Yep, I am still pretty obsessed with Minimalism. If you are interested in reading up on the topic, please start with the More of Less by Joshua Becker! I have enjoyed this book so much and wish I could share it with every one of my friends and family. If I owned it, I would lend it but I recommend the good ‘ole library for this. I had to wait awhile but it was worth it!

Yesterday we tackled the bulk of our attic and it was quite a job. My neck and back are consequently killing me from lugging boxes up and down those rickety steps. We delivered a car-full of donations and filled our trash can to the brim as well. We aren’t done.

We opened boxes that hadn’t seen the light of day in years. The contents of some were total mysteries despite hastily scrawled words sharpied across the tops. What I discovered was that 99% of the items that once seemed attic-worthy only served to add to my work-load yesterday. Some of the items I had chosen to save were comical, some were pathetic and a few were very poignant. But almost none were saved. I took a couple photos, read a few old cards and showed my kids a news article or two. I threw away trophies, a walmart vest, heaps of letters and notes and every school paper I saved from college. I kept my high-school diploma even though it seems pointless and I kept some old antique books (which may also get culled eventually). I dumped a truly creepy box of old dolls which I once treasured, I snapped a photo of my old karate gi because most folks I know now can’t believe I was a green belt once upon a time. I discarded suitcases which had disintegrated from poor storage and chairs which had somehow become broken over time. An old lamp which I never liked even in it’s prime and a huge collection of books which I once enjoyed. I uncovered items given to us for our wedding shower, baby showers, Christmas, and a truly startling amount of vintage tea sets that I at some point packed away.

Now that I have delved into every category of our home and opened almost every old box, I want to share what I thought and felt dealing with nearly every single box, bag and knick-knack that I had previously packed away. It can be summed up in one word.

“why?”

Why did I save this and what was I hoping it’s value would be to me or anyone else?

Anything that served a useful purpose at one point has become useless or obsolete from being stored over time (and without climate-control). Instead of being donated to someone who would actually use it in it’s prime, it has lost value over time.

Anything of sentimental importance when packed away in such bulk loses it’s value and impact and just serves as emotional filler.

My sister and I exchanged dozens of sweet notes when I was in college. Yet when I found them yesterday, I really didn’t want to pour over each one. I just wanted to jump in my car and visit her and spend time with her NOW. I wanted to clear up my home and schedule so that I could have more freedom to spend time with my family today. Memories are special, but now is NOW. We aren’t promised tomorrow, and I don’t want yesterday’s burdens to cloud today’s focus.

So how will this new mindset affect my perspective going forward? I will post more about this in the future. Until then, embrace gratitude.

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