I am revisiting the issue of hoarding. Not just in writing here at the blog but in my every day life. I found shocking evidence against myself when I was unpacking the boxes marked "office". This is what I've uncovered to date:
18 mechanical pencils
~375 index cards
9 notepads under 5 inches
10 notepads under 7 inches
15 larger sized notepads
25 post-it notes of various sizes and in various states of use
13 spiral bound notebooks
11 8.5 x 11 inch notepads
7 8.5 x 11 inch composition notebooks
~ 1300 pages of loose leaf paper
I cannot express how horrified I am to know that I've accumulated this much office supplies. There are also assortments of folders, hanging files, paperclips, binder clips, sticky page markers, and push pins. As I said, I haven't even gone through the art supplies (which were packed separatesly and are currently in the guest room). Even if I finished writing all the poems, short stories, and novel length stores currently in my head, I don't think I could use up all the pens and peper I've stockpiled (maybe).
In the spirit of my new mantra of letting go of what is not necessary, I have donated the unopened/unused office supplies to the YMCA school supplies drive. I feel good knowing that it will all be put to good use and that someone who couldn't otherwise afford it will be very grateful to have it.
My other issues of hoarding is with sewing/art/crafting supplies. It took me 12 hours to sort everything. I threw some things away wondering why I'd kept them in the first place. Other materials I chose to donate to GoodWill. I made sure to take those boxes to the charity drop off as soon as possible to prevent myself from backsliding.
Even with this purge there was still an ungodly amount of cloth in various shades and patterns dating from the 1930's to present day, sewing threads of various shades, embrodery floss in a rainbow of colors, cross-stitch material, patterns, buttons, ribbons, lace, netting, tons of beads/jewels/tools/materials for jewelry making, and various sewing notions. This doesn't even take into account the books and magazines that cover a wide range of sewing and crafting. I was able to sort everything into the space I have available but I confess that it was a tight fit. A lot of the quilting, sewing, and crafting must be dont to justify keeping all this so I hope to get busy soon. The first project will be baby quilts for my twin great nieces who were born in June. Need to get busy with that!
The last hoarding issue standing in the way of breathtaking productivity is the rather large stash of items I hope to list on eBay. Besides needing to make myself sit down to do the actual listings, I've made myself promise that no matter what the item is, if it doesn't sell after the third relisting on eBay, it will be donated to charity. While this does make me feel anxious, I know that it's necessary. It's not money lost, it's space and freedom gained. I just have to keep that in mind. I have already sold or donated 55 books!
I am working slowly towards freedom from "things". I've accumulated way too much. I've also set a bad example for my children. Sometimes "stuff" gets in the way of living and creating the life you want to lead and memories you will cherish. I anticipate a long painful process but I know this will be healthier for me and my family.