My daughter (17) is a stationery addict. From the time she could hold a pen and color she has loved pens and notebooks in all shapes and colors. Her collection, as you can imagine, has grown considerably over the years. This was okay with me as she was always able to find a home for them in her room and truthfully I could totally relate. When I was her age I had a thing for hair products, ummm wait a minute I still do!
Lately though my daughter has been wanting to pare down her collection. I think it has something to do with her leaving home next year and knowing she couldn’t possibly bring them all with her. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. She’s starting with the pens. Oh the pens, there are so many. She struggles each day to decide which “friends” she will let go off. She told me the other day, “mom it’s so hard to part with my pens because I’m emotionally invested in their well being”.
Yep that’s right, she is emotionally invested. With her pens.
They hold memories for her. Time and money spent over many many years. Gifts given to her from those she loves. She is a writer and pens help her create stories and process feelings of teenage angst. They’ve been there for her, she could rely on them day in and day out.
I totally get it although I can’t honestly say I am emotionally invested with my hair products. If a product doesn’t pass the “this better make me look beautiful” test, it is out of here. Never to be thought of again. Audios amigos.
I realized though that blurting out clever advice like, “they’re just pens, get rid of them” probably wouldn’t be the best thing for our mother daughter relationship. Instead I did what any good organizing junkie would do and wrote down what she said on a scrap piece of paper so I could blog about it. Ha! I thought I could put together a great post giving her and you all sorts of wise Org Junkie wisdom. But you know what, my daughter beat me to it. Here’s what she found works the best when parting with things you are emotionally invested with.
Are you ready for her advice?
“Just get rid of 5 things a day. Rather than deal with everything all at once, which can be pretty overwhelming, just focus on separating yourself from 5 things each day.”
FINALLY all the advice I have provided her throughout the years is sinking in. I’m pretty sure I’ve written that exact same piece of advice here on the blog a time or two. I was feeling so proud of myself until she said this:
Daughter: “Mom, I’m totally inspired by a book I’m reading.”
Me: “Oh how sweet, you’re reading my book and learning from it?”
Daughter: “No from a book I got from the library.”
Oh okay then. Reality thud.
Apparently living with an organizing junkie who shares organizing tips for a living means nothing when a memoir, read in two hours, about one woman’s journey from the fast lane to a slow stroll in Paris is so much more enlightening! For those wondering, the book is called Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod and is the true story of a girl completely fed up with her day job. She wonders how much money it takes to quit her job? With a little math and a lot of determination, Janice cut back, saved up, and bought herself two years of freedom in Europe.
So my daughter is slowly parting with her things. Maybe to travel to Europe, I’m not sure. Check out the purge pile she has accumulated this week. It’s working, it’s really working. I couldn’t be happier even if I didn’t have anything to do with it :)
It’s okay to go slow.
5 things a day.
Sounds reasonable to me.
Give it a try and let me know how you make out!
PS: Don’t forget to create a Donation Station :)