Divestiture: Getting rid of things and what it makes you feel

Sean Bonner has a series of posting he’s been writing on changing the world in 5 easy steps.  The one I was just reading tonight, about cutting down on possessions, struck a chord. Sean describes his own journey from a poor kid to a collector to a connoisseur to someone who realizes what an encumberance stuff is.

And then he turns into someone who has to get rid of alot of stuff and he takes a simple step that basically, opens his heart. “Last month I collected some of those things into a pile and posted them
online saying “free if you come get them,” Sean writes.”…
people who really needed them showed up and were overjoyed at getting
things I hadn’t used in years.”

When I was breaking up with my ex,  back in the day and moving into my own place for the first time in MANY years,  I had so much stuff I didn’t know what to do with it.  There were things we’d bought together and things I’d bought and things my family had given me, or I’d inherited. So much stuff it would never fit into the little apartment I was moving to.

So I gave it away. Like Sean, I put notes up on the web, on Freecycle and the local neighborhood list, and offered items for free.  There were bookcases and kids toys and a sey of shelves fill of ceramics too nice to throw away but not valuable enough to sell on eBay.
I invited friends and neighbors to come through and gave things away–an expensive leather jacket that was too small, a lovely hand thrown bowl I’d had 20 years but no longer wanted, and so on.

It was a wonderful cleansing process, to see these items, so long held and/or so painstakingly acquired, passed on to people thrilled to have them who fely lucky, grateful.
By the end of it, I felt cleansed, much lighter and more free than when I had been worrying about ferrying around all this stuff.

Thanks, Sean, for reminding me of all that.