I grew up being told to hang on to all of my childhood toys and memorabilia. The message was: “These are memories you are going to want to keep to share with your children.” “Your toys are going to be valuable collector’s items.” So I hung onto to everything. The reality of it was I moved it from one home to the next. It languished in boxes collecting dust, getting musty, and ruined by mice.

When I moved into my most recent home 6 years ago, I was so frustrated with all of this “stuff”. I recognized that I wasn’t going to do anything with it. It was just taking up space. I vowed I wouldn’t move it one more time, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to just throw it away or give it to charity. Feeling a little helpless it sat in my basement.

Now I am entering a wonderful new chapter in my life. I recently got married, and for so many reasons I have never been in a happier, healthier place in my life. We sold my old house and are getting ready to move into a place my husband and I can call ours. It became time to deal with all of that “stuff” in the basement.

Lucky for me, this time I had a secret weapon: Lynne Poulton! She is an incredible friend of mine who also happens to be a compassionate, driven professional organizer. I reached out to her, and she had just the right resources to help. She connected me with people who specialize in buying and reselling the very items I had in my basement. It was such a relief to sell my things to other caring professionals who would give them a new life.

In the end I was able to go through nearly 30 boxes of “stuff”. When I looked at these things in the boxes I was able to separate out my emotions and see it for what it was. I sold the things of worth, kept the things that still had meaning to me, donated a few things, and threw out a lot of what was truly junk. I narrowed down 30 boxes to only 5 boxes of what I genuinely want to keep.

It is amazing how relieved I feel. My basement is transformed, and I wish I had done this years ago! However, I am very happy to move deliberately into a new chapter of my life with only the things that I really want to carry with me. I am making this new move in a state of peace having intentionally managed my struggle with “stuff”.