I'm a lover of words, coffee and tequila. Lucky to be living my happily ever after as a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos and one crazy dog.

Confessions of an (emotional) hoarder...

I just made a big, stressful, totally inconvenient, turn your life upside down move from a two bedroom in-law style apartment to a 3 bedroom house.

I don't enjoy change. In the last 3 months- there has been a whole lot of it in my life.

This move was very bittersweet. I found myself wandering around our old apartment, tripping over memories at every turn. This was where my daughter was brought home from the hospital. Where I paced the floor, obviously in labor but stubbornly refusing to call the doctor. This is the kitchen where, hands trembling, I found out I got into graduate school. The same kitchen that I stumbled into, delirious and giddy following post-graduation celebrations. That place saw more laughter, arguments, tears and pure joy than its square footage should have possibly been able to hold.

It was during this move that I discovered I am, in fact, a hoarder.

Not of the dead cat carcass variety. Thank goodness, because I don't need A&E knocking on my door.

But I hold onto material things as a way of keeping a grasp on the past and ensuring my foothold in the future. Each item I packed or threw away told a story for me and the process was painstaking. Each outfit of Grace's that I had stashed in our storage closet? I remember her wearing them and for a moment it was if I had my tiny baby back again. Those stayed. 7 old pacifiers- I only kept her favorite one. Birthday cards from 3 years ago? It was time to let go of those. But the high school year book that absolutely walloped me with the words scrawled on the page and the pictures and the people who have disappeared out of my life or have stood solidly by my side.. That's sitting in the top drawer of my nightstand.

You wouldn't believe it by looking in my new basement- but I threw away or donated
a lot of things. It was utlimately, a free-ing sort of process. I felt lighter, somehow, with each piece of mismatched Tupperware that I tossed in the trash.

Recognizing this pattern with the material things in my life led me to many other "things" am I holding onto unnecessarily?

Turns out- it's a whole lot. This time of year naturally lends itself to retrospection. There are things that have happened in the past year that I am not particulalrly proud of. There are lots of things, however, that I believe I mananged to get right. And each time I found myself in tears over a photograph or angry or uncomfortable or anxious when remembering the history of something seemingly unassuminging and benign, I began to understand how little I am able to let go of.

Right now? My tupperware cabinet is perfectly organized. Each piece has a matching lid and are stacked with like containers. When I open the door I am no longer dodging an onslaught of tumbling, disorganized mess. I know it won't look like this every day, maybe not even every week...but I'm working on it. I'm working on giving each thing in my life its appropriate place to belong. And knowing how to throw it away when it grows too big or too old or doesn't quite fit anymore.

It's a process. One small teeny tiny step at a time. If I manage to avoid a collection of flattened cat carcasses in the process? Then I think I'm doing just fine.

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