Friday, March 19, 2010

Ruminations about Stuff

All afternoon, I've been in Jerusalem.  Well, in my head anyway.  I've been listening to my 33-song Jerusalem playlist on my iPod, but I'm actually in Baltimore where the uncluttering continues at a rapid pace.  While there's still plenty from which to divest, I feel like I've crossed some invisible halfway point.  Maybe that's because I finally started dealing with the basement.  Yesterday, I called my Israeli daughter on Skype, took the laptop into the basement and waved the detritus of her childhood in front of the webcam, one stuffed bear at a time.  Oh!  the memories she shared while deciding whether each was a keeper or an item for the giveaway pile.

It's getting easier.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to end up taking anything at all on that 20' lift we ordered.

I've been ruminating about stuff for quite a long time, since I've been engaged in this uncluttering effort for many months.  It's extraordinary the amount of stuff we accumulated over the years.  I blame the basement.  Too easy to just put it downstairs and not have to make a decision.

I find myself relieved when something is too broken, moldy, dirty or otherwise unsuitable to even consider saving. Get it out!

At the same time, I can't say that I'm entirely clear how we're going to live in such a small space.  There's plenty of room for clothes and dishes, tables and sofas, linens and shampoo bottles.  But what about the stuff that isn't necessary for daily life but that we carry with us from one home to the next - family photos, old journals, our parents' wedding album, a painting from our childhood home that doesn't really belong in our home anymore?  And what do we save from our children's childhoods?  How many old school papers and art projects are enough to communicate that we value the memories?  I have a few toys that were hand-me-downs from my nephews.  Our daughters played with them and, I can't help thinking, maybe someday they will be enjoyed by my hypothetical grandchildren when they visit Saba and Savta.

So, that's what it's like to be me these days, alternating between highly efficient unclutterer and a sappily sentimental someday-Savta.

1 comment:

Karen said...

They do have storage rooms here. Also many people put a Keter shed in the garden. You may also find yourself buying more closets, bookshelves etc for your apartment than you needed when it was a vacation home. As long as you keep only things you really use plus real family heirlooms - and not old stuffed animals - you'll be fine. :)