Friday, November 16, 2007

The Joy of Throwing Things Away

Oprah recently did a segment on hoarders—people who compulsively collect mass quantities of junk. Hoarders get a high off of purchasing products and collecting things that they don’t want or need. Eventually, they bury themselves in their own junk. I twitch and squirm at the idea.

I don’t like “stuff.” I get my high off of throwing things away. I visit the local clothing-drop religiously, I donate a paperback or two every time I go to the library, and I almost like it when things break so I can be rid of them forever.

One item in, one item out: a philosophy to live by. Every time I get a new shirt, I donate an old shirt. I will never be able to fill a whole walk-in closet. I am kind of proud of that.

One might conclude that I am a very organized person. I love storage containers and storage systems. While not a “clean freak,” I am relatively tidy (as much as one can be with a Tasmanian toddler in tow). But I wouldn’t consider myself organized. On paper, maybe sort of, but mentally, I am a jumbled mess—a scatter brain. Perhaps ridding my self of all excess “junk” is my way of making sense of my chaotic internal world.

That’s why I find it difficult to properly observe the Sabbath Day if the house is a mess. I just can’t feel the spirit if the dishes are piled in the sink and blocks are scattered across the house. And every time I lose something important, my first impulse is to clean and organize. Cleaning helps me feel less anxiety about the lost item and usually I find the item in the process.

I love receiving presents…insanely, actually. But when I get gifts that I don’t want or need, I have an intense mental battle. What is the proper etiquette for handling presents that you don’t love from people that you do love? Is it okay to throw the present away? Is there a set amount of time that you are required to have that item in your possession before you turn it over to the Salvation Army?

I am not anal… I don’t think. I just like having a simple life—free of “things” that only complicate it further.


Janssen said...

I love throwing things away as well - such a nice feeling of emptiness!

Heather & Trevor said...

Ummmm, My EXACT thoughts on the subject! You and I are so much more alike than I ever realized! WoW! You just say it so much better than I do! I love to throw things away too. You read my mind girl!

Kristy said...

Yep, I totally agree. I also twitch at the thought of holding on to useless stuff. Yikes.

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