This is what I kept telling myself when I looked at the material things I have/had and decided what to keep and what to purge over the last couple of years: In the end, none of it will matter.
But I realized in the last couple of months that it was this very thought that had stopped me in my purging tracks. "None" is a pretty broad word and it's not at all realistic and I had subconsciously acknowledged this realization by suddenly stopping the ongoing project I have had of getting rid of the things that I don't need or that don't truly spark joy.
The stacked up totes in the attic stayed right where they were and downstairs drawers full of stuff I know I didn't really need stayed untouched.
To get going again, I needed to understand two truths:
One: In the end, some of it will matter. I won't be around but some of the stuff I leave behind will matter to whoever ends up deciding how the things we leave behind are distributed (given away, kept, sold, or junked).
Two: Some of it matters now. Beyond what items I have saved that get only semi-regular use, some of the things I saved have sentimental value and I get joy out of their presence. I may not look at my 11th grade yearbook but there it is on the shelf in the hallway - a reminder of who I once was and how far I've come. Understanding what truly matters should also help me avoid keeping things that have only temporary sentimental value, such as ticket stubs and old greeting cards.
The big breakthrough I had was to change my focus to what to keep instead of what to get rid of. (Click here for a great article about Marie Kondo's thoughts on this)
It seems odd to me but when I focused on what to keep, I ended up getting rid of more things.
More on that tomorrow...