I’ve been cleaning out old boxes that I’ve stored at my parent’s house recently. Thankfully, it’s not as bad as the picture above, but I’m still a bit surprised at how much stuff I still had over there. It’s truly amazing what I’ve been finding. The old mementos I’m turning up aren’t the most interesting discovery though – the most interesting thing is how good I’m feeling about getting rid of most of them.
In a weird way, the fact that I can part with a lot of largely meaningless things from my past is serving to reinforce who I’ve become today. I didn’t anticipate this, but it’s a nice little mental reward.
Not that all items from your past are bad, but all of them aren’t necessary. I have a host of trophies and medals from playing sports as a child. However, I’ve forgotten most of the seasons I played. The tournaments are almost all hazy memories of my past. However, a single trophy still stands out, because it’s the tournament in which I scored the winning goal in the final moments. It was a storybook win. I still have all of those trophies though, when only a single one has any meaning to me. It’s a but odd, but now I’m looking forward to getting rid of them all.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous experiments about busting clutter, getting rid of things you don’t need can become a bit of an addictive trend. Once you get started, it’s incredibly satisfying to see things you don’t need leaving the house. The free space left can be amazingly energizing.
My work clearing clutter over the weekend got me thinking though: could it be that clutter is an anchor to your past that keeps you from growing into the future?
Perhaps it’s a bit more profound than recycling old magazines, tourism brochures and letters might merit, but it’s an interesting thought.