This past weekend I finished packing up my college apartment. It was a long day, starting at 7 AM, followed by 3 1/2 hour drive, followed by 2 hours of packing things up and moving them into the moving truck, followed by a 3 1/2 hour drive back home, where I finally had to unpack everything. Luckily I did not have to do this by myself, I had the help of my dad, but it was still a long and exhausting day.
During my time packing things up at my old apartment I realized just how much stuff I had accumulated during my time at college. My DVD collection had grown considerably, I had more books, more towels, more clothes, and unfortunately more junk. It’s amazing just how easy it is for things to accumulate in your life, and how difficult it can be to let things go. Sometimes there is an emotional or sentimental attachment to an object, I for example have a stuffed lion that I got while working at a summer camp a few years back. I don’t sleep with it, in fact it stayed in box under my bed. But when I open that box to get something, or put something away, and I see that lion I have a warm feeling come over me and I remember all the good times I had that summer.
Then there is another reason we, or at least I, let clutter come into our lives. As someone who would consider themselves an environmentalist, I try to recycle whenever possible, and turn off lights and running water when not being used, I have a hard time throwing things away because I know they are going straight for a landfill. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, but this knowledge makes me a bit uneasy and therefore I have a tendency to hold on to unnecessary clutter. College didn’t help this situation, as you are constantly busy and therefore have limited time to ever thoroughly clean your room. Papers, assignments, class handouts all pile up in the corner. Textbooks, and old spirals begin to fill your closet. Unfortunately unneeded junk seems to amass, which is why while I was cleaning out my apartment decided I was going to do something.
I am now making a conscious effort to either: throw things away, donate them, or recycle things that can no longer use. I have begun the process of clearing out my room and although it is hard at the end of the day I feel good about what I have accomplished. And for those of you who are worried about the fate of my lion, don’t worry, I’m not ready to give him up just yet. Although I am sure he will end up under the bed again, sometimes you have to hold on to things.