Updated: Oct 26
It’s been 11 years since I properly looked at what I left behind in the UK. My daughter was only 10, so all her clothes and toys that we had are now irrelevant to who she is as a young adult. I’m sure there are also boxes filled with things that can now be defined as “vintage”. Things from my past life, when I was a married younger mother living in London.
In one way it’s exciting to open up the boxes and see what’s there, in another it’s hauntingly scary. A life I knew, a life where I had huge highs and lows. Boxes filled with memories about people from my past that might no longer be with me in my current decade of life.
I have decided to sort all of the things in storage and sort them into four piles: charity store, trash pile, give away or sell. With the idea that I can and will keep one or two small boxes of memories.
When I think about this great task ahead of me it feels very daunting. It’s more than just sorting some tangible items though, it’s my life, my heart, my mind and my emotions all tied up into these boxes.
I don’t consider myself to have made many mistakes as I refer to them as lessons. One big lesson was that after my divorce, I got rid of a few things that I wasn’t ready to get rid of and didn’t get rid of them in the right way. I wish I’d taken photos of these things so I had memories. I wish I had taken the time to understand what these items meant.
So having learned this, I’m now able to go into this storage slowly, with thought and heart working in tandem.
I know this is going to be hard, it’s a form of grief as well. Really letting go of the past and what might have been had things been different.
I will feel sadness, maybe even anger, I’m sure I’ll laugh and feel a sense of gratitude for what was.
So what does this mean for me, how will I feel after it’s done?
Financially it will feel wonderful, a monthly bill removed. Emotionally it might still hit me in waves. But I know it’s the right thing to do. In order for us to move on in life, anything holding us back is a physical and mental weight. So, it’s time. I have to be brave, I have to let go of any baggage I’m still holding onto.
So here are three ways that I’m going to deal with letting go of this emotional and physical baggage:
Get a scrapbook together so that anything I can stick in or take photos of to add will go in there.
Decide whether this item creates a good memory or one with negative attachments, sit with it and then say goodbye to the item (placing it in one of four piles).
Remind myself that I’m not alone and there are people that I can talk to and turn to.
Have you ever had to deal with this? What solutions did you find?