From Treasure to Trash

Trash?

Exactly.  I didn’t get confused… I didn’t mix up the words…

We are so bombarded with media messages for DIY projects… Recycle your old juice container into this amazing new pen holder… The list goes on and on… Internet articles, tv shows, books, magazines… The list is endless. They promise us how easy it is to do… “With just a little imagination and some basic supplies, you too can re-purpose your trash…” So much so that we forgot how to throw things out.

Please, don’t get me wrong.  My mom was the queen of the all purpose product!  I learned how to get the most out of a lot of objects because of her… The problem is when you “say” you’re going to and you never do…  Your treasure quickly turns into a useless dust collector using up valuable real estate in your home.

Guilty!

Yes, I admit… I am guilty of doing this!!!  As I’m going through the house, I realize how much stuff that I have that actually has negative emotions attached.

For instance… My mom had a chandelier that I wanted to use in my bathroom.  For YEARS I asked my ex to fix it and install it in the bathroom.  I found it in the garage with years worth of dust and the memory of him never bothering to fix it for me despite being an electrician and it needing a simple light base swap. Instead of reminding me of my mom, whom I miss terribly, the chandelier is just a reminder of one more thing that was never done.

What Do You Do?

A month ago I would have said to keep it.  A coat of paint, a quick call to another electrician friend and up it can go… I honestly believe you can change the emotions attached to anything, so that’s not the issue.  But what I need to be is honest.

Yeah, aside from the fact that I’m selling the house – would I really have gone through all that trouble to fix and install the chandelier or is it just a romantic idea?  Do I REALLY love it that much? If I’m being honest, the answer is no.

If I had really loved the chandelier, I shouldn’t have waited for my ex to start fixing it and done the decorating part myself.  Oh yeah, did I mention I wanted to add black glass trim to it since my bathroom is black and silver?

Emotional Baggage

How do I recycle something that could be re-purposed but needs some serious TLC. The only way is to try and sell it for “free.”  Sadly, that doesn’t always work and I can’t let it stay for longer than it has. But what happens when the item is not broken?

It is said that living in a disorganized home can cause depression.  Blame it on a small space such as a New York City apartment, or too much stuff (remember Hoarders?) or maybe you just are too busy to go around picking everything up.  Whatever the reason, walking in to your home and seeing a mess makes you feel down, right?

Well that’s what I believed until I started all of my brain-washing happiness tapes.  They made me take a long hard look at my treasures, not just the stuff I had to re-purpose.  I must admit, my house has been pretty for a while now.  I shredded a bunch of papers and removed most of the other bulky stuff that annoyed me into the basement or the garage… The two places I hardly ever go. Out of sight, out of mind.

So it was a happy place, right? Wrong… The stuff I kept to decorate my home, despite looking pretty, are what actually make me sad.  Hopes and dreams never achieved… Memories of a past life, never to be relived… Guilt for not liking but a loved one gifted it… Fear that I can never afford another item of this monetary value….

This has nothing to do with the fact that there is a limit of how much garbage bags you can set curbside weekly…. I chose to keep these items without really thinking about why.  Had it not been for my meditations and reading Marie Kondo’s book, I probably would have left all of those depressing items surrounding me because to an outsider they would have looked pretty.

Be Mindful

I started looking for boxes for those items and removed them.  I have since started finding new homes for them.  Figurines and decorative items to second hand stores… Books to friends with similar interests. Everything and anything that does not make me happy is going out the door.  Whatever can’t find a new home will be eventually left curbside for sanitation to pick up.

Everything has a purpose. The thing is to recognize that purpose and allow the item to move on once it’s purpose has been fulfilled.  Keeping an item at the bottom of a pile, or worse out on display when it does not bring you any happiness, defeats the purpose of having that item.

Set it free and allow it to become someone else’s treasure….

 

 

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