That sweater my mom gave me and all this other stuff

My husband and I have been trying to downsize since my mom passed away (back in 2010). In short, our efforts have been fruitless.  We are constantly packing up boxes to donate our stuff to charity and we have at least 1 garage sale each year. We don’t shop much, but even so, we find that our house is a magnet for stuff. Papers, hand-me-downs, craft projects, toys- plus all of my mom’s stuff… We decided to be drastic and move from a 3 story house to a 3 bedroom apartment. Let the fun (and wild roller-coaster of emotions) begin!

I was reading an O magazine article on downsizing (I was quite desperate) and found a section on organizing clothes. It said “that sweater that your mom gave you, it’s NOT your mom.” The idea being that if I don’t wear it, I am to get rid of it.  But what if my mom is dead?  What if this sweater reminded me of her, together with those pair of shoes, and that purse, and that picture frame over there, oh and that planter, and a coffee cup… I’m not even discussing all of the boxes of photos I haven’t scanned… I like to be reminded of my mom and the little things we shared. So I held on to the sweater for 4 years, I probably wore it a total of 3 times. Yesterday I decided it was time to make some drastic decisions.

My mom's room at it's worst- transformed into a sorting station.

My mom’s room at it’s worst- transformed into a sorting station.

One of the reasons we are moving from this house is because the lower floor (picture above) was intended to be for my mom to live in. Once she passed away we tried having an office/playroom take the place of her living area, and we tried moving my husbands office to her kitchenette. We used her large bathroom often for our girls to bathe. But even when we had that floor in frequent use, it wasn’t enough to keep it organized. Most of our lives take place in our living room/kitchen so we decided all we needed was that, and some rooms for the girls to have their own space. We are happiest when living in our 25 foot RV (I work remotely so we try to camp as often as possible) so that got us thinking about our lives and happiness and how complicated our lives have gotten. We decided it was definitely time to simplify our routines and minimize the space we have to take care of.

I recently found out I am part of a downsizing/simplifying trend, which made me smile because it reassures me (HEY! I am not crazy!).

So yes, I packed up the sweater, the purse and the shoes for our next garage sale… the planter will go to a friend, the coffee cup to my office  and I am keeping the picture frame.

It feels good.

I am smiling, and really that’s all that matters.