Recently, I had the unfortunate circumstance of my smartphone having a fit of unintelligence – I updated my software only to have apps not work, texting freeze and a camera refuse to take pictures. Upon hours of trying to figure out what was wrong, the solution was to have my phone cleared and establish it as a “new” phone. But this meant that many pictures that I kept as reminders of special times would be erased into the netherworld.
Yes, iCloud – which I do not understand nor use – saved some I think, but most ones that I couldn’t text or email away safely were lost for good. I was upset and heartbroken at first. Then it faded and I wasn’t really phased anymore. That’s because I have embraced the purge.
I feel that purging – or getting rid of the “things” in my life – is a wonderful, sometimes scary process. When I lost nearly 1,300 photos only to save maybe 60 – it was heartbreaking. Then I got over it.
The same goes for the Spring cleaning that I am in the midst of – boxing up clothes and books, recycling old papers and throwing out things I never knew I had has been like lifting an enormous weight off my shoulders.
It boggled my mind realizing how heavy the things in our life can be – literally and figuratively. Purging helps us not feel so dependent on things. Whether it was “I like this shirt and I’ll wear it someday, even if I haven’t worn it since high school,” or “This book was an okay read, but maybe I’ll want to reread it someday,” I knew I was holding on to too much. So I started to really assess what I need, what I use and the rest could be a treasure for someone else.
I have a dozen boxes of clothes ready to donate, giving me more room in my closet. I’m starting to pull off books from my shelves that I’m hoping to sell back and make some money, or donate to a library or local book store. Then maybe I can make room for the books I can’t wait to read.
The beauty of purging is that there is life in recycling. There’s the chance that the things we aren’t using anymore can be given new value by someone else. So I constantly encourage to people to donate what they aren’t using so that someone else can. As I go through and purge more, I see and feel the space I’ve gained – physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m not tied to so many things, making me more organized and less stressed. I have noticed a greater sense of appreciation no longer of things, but of people and experiences. Yes, photos help capture those things, but they don’t define them. Just like clothes don’t define who I am by what I look like and my book collection doesn’t define how intelligent or cultured I am.
I’m more so me for how I use the things in my life to better myself, but not become dependent on them and desire them for satisfaction. Especially as I start a new chapter, the idea of purging the past, while not entirely, makes me excited for what I will bring and hold onto in the future.
So whether the purge is accidental and not intended like a phone that breaks or something you seek out and hope to declutter – embrace it. It’ll make you lighter, freer and happier. And even more ready for what’s next!