Many new age-y type people constantly talk about how you need to “offload baggage” in order to “free up space” for better things. And I will tell you, honestly, that I think much of what they say is a load of hooey. Having said that, I also think that much of what they say is valuable but gets thrown out with the hocus-pocus feel of how it’s said… which is a shame. However, after long, long years of trying, the Beans finally found themselves ready to say goodbye to cherished old friends.
We said goodbye to our old tea party kitchen, our beauty salon set, our little red wagon, in short, we’ve been getting rid of the vestiges of our younger time. We started with the books as I thought it might be a little less emotional and a little less cling-producing. The strategy seemed to work as they identified so many books to give away that I’ve been slowly selling off portions of a nice-sized children’s library. When I say nice-sized, let’s put the number somewhere between 50 and 75 books. Don’t worry, though, we’ve kept the older books which have to be at least twice as many (or more!). Once we’re done selling, we’ve agreed to donate the rest to the public school that JujuBean’s class visited. They took the girls in and showed them the lovely library with its gleaming shelves… waiting for books to arrive. Yep, it was a fine, large empty room. So, we dutifully sent in two of our nicer early readers in English. And now, we know what to do with our excess from the garage saling. The few that we really found very emotional to part with, we gave to little CousinBean. That way we know someone we love is enjoying them and we may get to see them on visits.
Once we finished the books, we began to tackle the toys. This was much harder for the kids… well and also for me. Some of these things I remember buying for baby ButterBean. I recall the look of joy on her face as she opened the presents, her intense concentration as she played with them. They aren’t things, they’re memories. But, as an aficionado of Clean House on Style, I know very well that I get to keep the memories long after the items are gone. Nothing takes those away. Unlike all of my past efforts to pry away toys and games from the Beans, this time they were finally ready. We used Clean House’s fabulous method and had a keep box, a sell box, and a trash can. Each item had to be placed in one of the three. If it went into the keep box, the Beans had to identify a new home where they could keep the items. It really seemed to click this time. At first I was having to push them to define where it should go. Shortly, they took the lead and dashed about dropping stuff in boxes, asking each other, and making final decisions. Instead of leading, I was following. My surprise (and pride) was complete when JujuBean offered up the salon and tea kitchen (I wasn’t even going there knowing the emotion attached to those two items). The Beans are growing, aren’t they?
The thing is… those New Age warblers are right. Doing a big clear out opens up space, in both your heart and your home, for new things. With the money we can choose to have a new adventure. Or the Beans may get to choose fun decor for their playroom. The possibilities are endless. And if they do decide to make a new space for themselves, we can be comfortable in knowing that the things inhabiting it are ones that made the cut. They managed to be critically considered and be found acceptable. In short, the creme of the age-appropriate crop is left. And now, I look forward to seeing what exciting new things come to fill in our hearts (but hopefully maybe not our home).
Happy New Ages!