Should I, or Shouldn’t I?

An update on the decluttering exercise:

IMG_1940For those of you who have been following my little (not so little) adventure in ridding myself of excess, you’ll know that I started this project in the month of May. Yes, May. Unless I’m mistaken, however, Marie Kondo, author of the advice dolling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” suggests completing this project within a six month timeframe (I’m sure I read that), so I would appear to be right on target. Not that I’m actually finished, but I’m close.

I’ve reported so far on cleaning out my clothes closet, disposing of books and ditching excess paper, but the project has gone far beyond that. Since my last report I have gone through CDs, DVDs, dishes, towels, linens, kitchen utensils, buttons, craft and office supplies, and even the dreaded junk drawer. I haven’t kept a complete tally on what’s gone out the door, but I know it’s over 20 bags of clothes and household items to Goodwill along with over 10 bags of garbage to the dumpster. It’s shocking to take stock to this extent and extremely rewarding.

What I’m most thrilled about is that the “life-changing” part holds true. At least, it does for me. Here are a few examples of how:

  1. My clothes closet looks exactly like it did six months ago. No lie. And I still love it.
  2. I’ve completely changed the way I shop. I’ve bought clothes since starting this project but nothing for my home. I have no interest.
  3. When I do buy clothes, I make sure that they genuinely bring me joy. IMG_2789
  4. Nothing new has gone into my junk drawer in months. Seriously. It looks like this —>
  5. I’m wearing and using things that I’d stored away for God knows what reason. I may have mentioned this before, but I found – after going through my clothes – that the items that brought me the most joy were the ones that I’d been wearing the least. Well, I wear them now, and I’m finding my truest and most joyous sense of style. So fun!

JournalsWhy did I entitle this blog “Should I, or Shouldn’t I?” I’m torn about one horrendous pile of nonsense: journals. I’ve dug out approximately 30 of them, and they cover approximately the last ten years of my life. Although I highly doubt I’ll keep any, should I read them before they’re disposed of? Do I want to delve into the blithering nonsense of my younger self? Don’t we primarily write in journals, because we’re working through one issue or another? Part of me just wants to throw them in the fire and be done with it.

What would you do? Have you collected journals over the years? Have you read them at various stages and been glad you did, or did they just stir up a lot of crap that didn’t need revisiting? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In the meantime, this picture shows all that’s left to be sorted. It doesn’t look like much, but in this mess are piles and files of sentimentality, including: family correspondence, love letters, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, postcards, pictures, negatives, etc., etc. < sigh > I may need to journal after this.

Stay tuned, my friends . . .

All that's left


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  1. That is a tough one! I have no advice–I am avoiding it completely. That will probably be my very last item (and it’s going to take me a lot longer than 6 months!)

  2. Go, go, go! So impressed with your determination and follow-thru!

    I can’t give you a “yea” or “ney” on the journals. I just don’t know what I would do. But, if I must, let me just ask: do you want anyone reading them once you leave this world? If that’s a no, then burn them. 🙂

    • Thanks, John. And no, I don’t want anyone reading them later (an ex did that once, and NEVER again), so they’re definitely going up in flame at some point. But do I read before burning? That, my dear friend, is the question. Hugs!

  3. I would read them slowly and thoughtfully, realizing that they are a big part of who you are……memories become more important to me the older I get. Then scan and save digitally if you really want to save space. Think of all the wonderful histories of people that come from their memoirs.

    • Wow. Good point. I hadn’t thought of scanning, and that’s brilliant! Thanks for the suggestion. I love it!

  4. Wow!.. big question… not sure what I would do. I agree with John though. If you don’t want people reading them after you’re gone then you may want to dump them. Also depending on who’s hands they fall into you may be the subject of an unauthorized biography.. scary thought? .. or maybe use them to write your own biography and then you won’t need the journals as your story will be all in one book. Decisions decisions!

  5. Leanne,
    I feel your pain! I often think about reading mine as well. I think it would be useful to read them before you burn them and reflect on how you have grown as person. Pat yourself on the back for the lessons you have learned from all the “speed bumps” you have encountered … Be proud of the mighty woman you have become!

  6. Oh Leana! Whoa!

    When my parent’s health deteriorated and they were forced to downsize and move quickly, they unwittingly threw out some of my prized possessions such as my hubbies love letters, artworks and small collectibles, while I was overseas and not available for consultation. Some of those items included silly journals, that I would dearly love to have now, little snapshots of my childhood and teenage years – now just faint or lost memories. But they had not the luxury of being able to take the time to sort it all out.

    Your journals are snapshots of your life history, the good, the sad, the uncomfortable, and the bad, that created the wonderful person you have become! I agree with Geoff. Scan, (encrypt if you want them private, and save if you need the space. As a writer, just imagine the storyline gems hidden in those lovely little journals…

    And in another 30 years or so, you can sit in your rocking chair, read, reminisce, or shed a tear. But hopefully there will be more giggles for the silly but wonderful times you experienced! xo

  7. Please reread the journals as they may bring back life’s positives and even some negatives. You’ll learn why you’re you now.
    PS: I’ve told daughter she’ll get to go though all my stuff and dispose of things- like the scissors, books, recipes, etc and get to know me better.

  8. Hey Leana…well I’m at the same place as we speak !
    I have 10 ou 12 différents journals since my age of 13…so between you and I, it’s been a while. I do beleive that I will burn them, but I will read them before I take this last action.
    I dont want anyone reading what I felt or how I was long time ago, specially not my son! so go for it my friend!

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