What Cleaning Out My Basement Has Taught Me

Josie Davis

Raise your hands in the air if you’ve been Marie Kondo-ing your house

* raises hands sheepishly *

I actually only watched one episode of the infamous netflix show, but it definitely got me excited to clear out a lot of the junk that was already bothering me. In general I try to keep our stuff to a minimum, and the last few years I’ve been tossing more and more and trying to be more intentional when I do buy. The truth is that I just feel better with less clutter. My brain is more able to think clearly when I don’t have to stare at a pile of junk I’ve been meaning to get rid of. But there was our basement crawl space. It had long on my list to sort out, but Marie kindly gave me the little push I needed.

Me and my husband worked together to pull every little bit out and onto the basement floor to go through. Oh my. Staring at all of the boxes and bins I couldn’t help but wonder where all this crap came from, and why in the world we have it. It’s been a process to work through it, so I’ve been digging into it whenever I can set aside an hour or two.

This weekend while Frank was away I found a little time and was working through it. As I gathered up things to donate I thought about how much guilt I used to feel about letting go of things. Was I flippantly chasing trends and constantly changing my tastes? Did that make me a horrible person who has no idea what they like?

One thing I do love about the Marie Kondo method is the idea of recognizing each thing served some type of purpose and thanking it. I’m not as into the whole thanking the inanimate objects out lout thing (even though I’m apparently just fine with talking to my dogs like they’re my therapist), but just the idea really helped me to take a step back and realize that we all change, just because our time with a particular object is up isn’t a negative reflection on you. Everything has a season, whether it’s long or short. Most likely you won’t insist on being buried with those old easter decorations in your basement, and that’s okay.

Have you ever taken the time to think about a specific objects purpose in your life? It sounds so silly, but we all have favorite things - a favorite pair of sweatpants, a favorite blanket to cozy up with on a cold day. Heck, I have a favorite spatula I always search for when I’m cooking. Maybe your time is up with a certain object. Maybe you used to love it, but you’ve outgrown it. You don’t need to feel bad about that. In fact, maybe you should celebrate it. You’ve grown, you’ve evolved, you’ve discovered new things about yourself. Now give yourself a high five and make a thrift store drop!