Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SUFFERING FROM T.M.J.! (Too Much Junk)...

 In case anyone is wondering why I have dropped off the blog radar it is because I am seriously suffering from T.M.J. (Too Much Junk) syndrome.  This condition is caused by the trickle down effect...relatives, friends, and well meaning neighbors who either pass on their sacred treasures or just plain junk to a sentimental creative who can cherish or use them.  Add to that the creatives love of collecting things for "projects", out dated decor items, left over wedding decor, adult children who can't let go of their childhoods and think that momma will keep it safe in her storage building, a passing or three of close relatives of whom I was in charge of settling the estates, the usual storage fare of summer items like coolers, outdoor furniture cushions, swim stuff, luggage, plus all the bins of holiday decor and you have yourself a genuine episode in the making of hoarders!
I was genuinely appalled  when I recently went to try and find some fall items to use at a little gathering we were hosting and I could literally not get to the bin they were stored in.  I am by nature a neat freak, everything has a place and I have a serious addiction to organization (and my label maker) everywhere with the exception of this one storage building, it is where I evidently keep all my clutter secrets.  I shove them in and slam the door on them before they escape but after reenacting the "HELP! I've fallen and can't get up!" commercial, popping up from under a box of wedding decor with a hunk of silk hydrangea caught in my hair and dangling behind my left ear I decided enough was enough! 
 I have spent literal days dragging things out box by box, bin by bin, culling, sorting, repacking & labeling, passing on, throwing away, donating, insisting on owners reclaiming, and even reliving some sweet memories.  I am almost done, today should finish the project, and the last of the packed donation boxes will be hauled away.  I feel the pain of the syndrome easing as I make one small portion of my life more manageable.  
 I am amazed at how much of our lives end up in boxes as clutter or castoffs.  Two generations from now no one will know to keep my beloved Brownie Bear, smashed flat to one side from my then little girl head pressing on his side every night to better hear the tinkling of his music box encased tummy.  They will not know that the worn away fur spot around the wind up key was done by tiny fingers who wound it in obsession to quell her fear of the dark, a soothing and familiar nightly noise.  
 They will not know that Brownie came with a tiny baby bear that rested in his sewn together paws but got lost but that it was OK since that made such a nice nestling place for Browine to hold a little girls hand to his musical heart.  They will not know that his tattered ribbon was once a jaunty red bow or that he was best friends with a now button eyeless clown who was handmade by a lady from Germany and that they belong together forever and always.  Someday, in some other storage building that is suffering from trickle down effect, they too will become castoffs when someone else is suffering from T.M.J. (too much junk) syndrome. 

Excuse my while I have a final moment with my junk...sniff, sniff...
Letting go is never easy but it is often necessary in order to move forward.  I think we keep and pass things on because we do not want to forget or to be forgotten. We leave behind the footprints of our stories, entrusting them to those to whom we think with cherish them and keep them alive.  It is our heart memories that mean the most, the feelings we assign to tangible objects, and those feelings are the only thing that we can hold on to without drowning in physical clutter.  This has been a difficult and daunting process but a needful and necessary one.  All these things that were in my possession have found or will find new homes, connecting to new lives, making new stories, passing from hand to hand, heart to heart... 
P.S.  Of course I kept Brownie and Clownie!  
I'll be back to regular posting as soon as the last box is sealed.

12 comments:

myletterstoemily said...

erghhh! that is such a big job and a little
heartbreaking to let things go . . .

Ruth Kelly said...

How true how true - letting go can be very hard but the need is there. I can't believe I hung on to my wedding dress for 40 years - my daughter didn't want to wear it and she was a size smaller than me. I finally gave it to the good will - maybe someone will use it again.

Monica said...

I so needed to hear this today, Sandy. This will surely be of great help to me... I have to settle down for a while in another temporary rented house, which is way smaller than any of the homes I've ever lived in. My first thought was omg. where to put all of MY stuff? I'd love to live in a tidy and kind of "zen" home, but it's so difficult to get rid of memories (and things that may be used one day, as my Granny taught me!:)).
Hugs, and thanks again for your inspiring words.
xo

Lesley UK said...

Thank you sooooo much. You've given me a kick start to clear my 'storage space', that used to be known as the guest bedroom. I'm not sure how it happened, but like you, I can no longer reach some of the stash I need. I shall start this afternoon, and I've decided to treat it as a treasure hunt rather than a chore.. After all, who knows what's just waiting to be discovered!

Tina @ TinyBear Studio said...

Oh - I need to do this too. Way too much stuff over here too. I always ends up with the 'what if' and it goes back in...

slowlaneblog.com said...

I did the de-clutter de-junk a while ago...some rather painful hours were spend doing this. On the other hand one has to ask....what is the likelihood of me ever using/getting through this and be brutally realistic with the answer.Which of course is a very easy thing to say....after the fact!!

Marilou Bain said...

Oh Sandy we are all guilty of that and letting go is hard, however do we really want our adult children left with the time consuming burden one day, me I think not, well I will be cleaning out in the Spring as I need all my extra time now for holiday projects and Grandbabies, large and small.

Bug Hugs my friend, keep in touch, Marilou

Createology said...

Sandy dear you could have written this and signed my name as it so fits me and my "hoarder" capability. I hate to get rid of anything as then I miss it too much. When it comes to extreme sports...I am an extreme sentimentalist. Bless you dear...

Connie said...

I know that I need to clear some junk out . . . I've been working on it, but it isn't easy. Seems like the minute I toss something . . . I see a project that I could have used it in.
Your blog is
an inspiration . . .always :)

Have a great day.
Your blogging sister, Connie :)

Katherine Wolak said...

Oh my goodness! I suffer from TMJ too! but the difference is, I enjoy it! :D without being a hoarder lol Love all your stuff my dear, even the junk! :)

Hugs,

suziqu's thread works said...

What a great post Sandy. I thought the last paragraph summed up everything so very well!
It is very hard to be anything but a hoarder when we work with mixed media.
After all that "stuff" is often so necessary to have on hand for just the right project and, as well as that, it all becomes part of who we are and the things we identify with - our loves, our memories, our art etc. etc.
But there does come a time when we it all becomes just toooo much and then it's time to clear it out!
I think I will suffer from the T.M.J. syndrome as long as I keep creating!
Sending "fresh space" hugs,
Suzy

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Mmmmm.... we certainly know about that kind of TMJ. The past year has been one of emptying... turns out to have been my theme word. So we've been ridding ourselves of lots of things... good, bad, indifferent.

To make room for the new life I know He has for me in the weeks and months ahead.

Making room for Him, for words to be written, for projects to be created, for people to love... and more.

Wishing you grace for the journey!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin