Cleaning is one of the few things in life that I absolutely loathe. Hate. Can’t stand. I love the results, but it’s that I hate doing the cleaning myself. As much as I hate cleaning, I don’t really trust other people to do it for me. It creates a bit of a pickle for me. The other problem is that I’m a bit of a pack rat. (Don’t worry, you won’t see me on “Hoarders” anytime soon, though.) I tend to keep a lot of things under the guise of “I’ll use it someday.” Well, many a “someday” have come and gone and I’ve used none of the stuff I said I would.
This past week I made it a goal to clean up my life; specifically my room. And clean I did. When I tell you that I found some stuff I hadn’t seen in ten years, I am not exaggerating. At all. I unearthed a few things that had surely been around since right after I moved in around 13 years ago I uncovered nick-nacks I hadn’t touched since the day I bought it. I saw pieces of paper I wrote on in high school. While I kept some old letters my dad had written me, a few pictures from trips I’d taken, and some truly sentimental stuff, my trash can became the new home for a lot of the clutter I discovered.
For a pack rat like myself, throwing something away, no matter how insignificant it seems, takes a good deal of motivation. It’s hard. Those of you who have no problem with this, likely will never comprehend why it would be difficult to throw out stuff you never use (honestly, I don’t fully understand it myself).
I came to the conclusion that I won’t get through the next season of my life if I keep carrying around all this extra “weight.” Weight, more than anything else, will slow down your journey. And this weight was slowing me down.
So in the trash it went. Things I thought I needed and memories I could learn to live without. In the trash. I won’t tell you how many bags I filled up, but I will say that I was quite amazed at myself. And I felt lighter. Not literally, but emotionally and spiritually. Now I feel more ready, more prepared, for whatever may come my way. I know that when I move I’ll have less to pack, less to move, and less to carry.
I can say that I’ll strive to keep a cleaner house, but it’s very likely my pack rat tendencies showing themselves again. And so I’ll have to keep cleaning, keep purging, and keep trashing a lot of the junk I pick up along the way.
Why should you care about that I cleaned my room? For one, you can call and tell my mother because Lord knows she’d be proud. But, more importantly, I hope this serves as a reminder for you; not to go clean your room, but to consider what you need to do in order to make the most out of this next season in your life. It may look like an apology. It may look like a renovation. It may look like a move. Whatever you need to do, do it. Now.
[Note: The picture is not of what I was cleaning.]