Clearing out, making room, breathing deep…

Looking around my home this morning, it’s hard to believe that we are on our way to a less cluttered life. Boxes have been brought out of storage and piled in corners, waiting to be weeded through. Bags of baby clothes are waiting to be picked up by or donated to friends over the next few weeks. Books and magazines will be driven to groups to be sold for charity and old computers will be taken in for re-purposing in training centers. But for now, it seems like we have more than we did before we started the whole process.

Maybe it is because I refuse to put them back in storage, believing that keeping them in plain sight will motivate us to send them out more quickly. But maybe, just maybe, it’s because a part of me is still holding on a tiny bit to some of the memories.

If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

~ Lao Tzu

I used to be a hardcore keep-sake collector. Nothing ever big : I would travel and barely bring back anything, but I was big into postcards of places I’d been, matchbooks or business cards of places I’d eaten, brochures and pamphlets of places I’d visited… I had it in my head that I needed to be able to come back and “touch”Β everywhere I had been. Like a badge of honor, I would periodically sit down and reminisce. But as I started moving around from apartment to apartment, city to city, all my “treasures” ended up in boxes, carefully marked and placed in storage… and there they stayed.

After I got married and we had kids, I quickly realized that all the places I had gone, the restaurants I had eaten at, the nightclubs I had partied at, were no longer relevant. And as I embraced the Tao, I realized they were absolutely in my past. It’s hard to imagine myself doing a tour of Napa Valley anymore or spending nights gambling on the Vegas strip. It is not who I am now and I will never be HER again. And what I’ve come to realize more than anything is that it’s OK.

Who I was 2006

Me – One month before my wedding – 2006

So, this time around, cleaning out my home to make room for things like a sewing space, a playroom for my kids, a cold cellar for my canning and a warm safe place to start my seedling waiting for spring to be warm enough to plant my garden, I realize that the person I was is not gone, she’s just changed. I’m reminded that all things are impermanent and that through change we grow. Holding on to things creates a yearning for things past and that can only lead to longing and regret.Β 

Embrace who you are, remember who you were, let go of the clutter and embrace the now. Because you are HERE and now is GOOD.

My life today

Me today – Happier than I ever thought I could be.

Wishing you all a happy, lovely, peaceful day.

About Yanic A.

Hello to all of you and thank you for stopping by! My name is Yanic. I'm a wife to a wonderful husband, a mother of 2 beautifully complex and unique children and a lover of all things inspiring. Having started a personal journey of self discovery when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I've since embraced a daily life of simpler pleasures and gratitude. As we get to know each other, you will know me as a quilter, a gardener, a Tao cultivator, a vegetarian foodie, a true believer in a healthy family life as being the secret to my happiness and hopefully as time goes on, a friend... I will try to share with you my days as they unfold, speaking of my happy successes without censoring my challenges, trying to make this blog a true portrait of the ever-changing path that I have chosen for myself. I'm hoping to find in these pages others to share with and learn from, bringing to light the absolute connection in all things and people, showing this world as being a true community.
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16 Responses to Clearing out, making room, breathing deep…

  1. Lisa says:

    What we say at our house is “Stuff makes you sad.” It was from a comic strip many years ago. We still have too much of it, but we’re working on it. I love what you said about how holding on to things leads to longing and regret. I recently had to go through all my dad’s stuff to get rid of so he could move into an assisted living facility. He is a hoarder and he is definitely filled with longing and regret.


    • quiltykanuck says:

      That could not have been easy and I’m very sorry you had to go through that. I was very proud of my parents a few years back because they did a big clean.

      I like that : Stuff makes you sad… it’s true, makes you happy for a minute, then you’re over it and you want something more.


  2. I am not much of a collector, my hubby on the other hand just can’t get rid of stuff. I pack up boxes to be donated and he stores them in the attic of his workshop. At least it is out of my house.

    We had a great discussion during a little tea afternoon with some mama friends about a month ago. One of the moms said something about how hard it is to let go of stuff, it all has so many memories. My response was to ask if not having the stuff changes the memory. She smiled and said no. The memories are still there deep in hearts, if they were important, we can hold them there forever. We don’t need the stuff to remember.

    Good for you for letting go of the past, I think we all need to do a little more of that. It is the only way we can be truly present and in the moment.


    • quiltykanuck says:

      Amen! I ask myself the same questions : Will this onesie make my daughter be a newborn again? Will this toy make my son less grown up? No… to enjoy my children, my life now, that is the greatest feeling.


  3. mountaingmom says:

    It must be spring fever. When we moved to our retirement home, I brought the part of the furniture and goods that I wanted to keep, buying a new bedroom suite and knowing that the one in hubby and son’s apartment across the state until he also moved would also move here eventually. The rest of the stuff left for them was intended for son to have in an apartment when hubby left. We ended up with most of it anyway as son took a room instead of an apartment initially and he didn’t want everything even when he did settle in an apartment and eventually a house after he married and had kids. We ended up with too much stuff. I have been listing on Craigslist and Ravelry, lots of items lately, making boxes of goods to take for donation and many trips to the dump to lighten our load some. There are many other items I would like to rid our house of, but not now I guess. Just breathe deep and send it on its way. Remember, your junk is someone else’s treasure.


    • quiltykanuck says:

      We are the definition of someone’s trash. LOL! My husband makes furniture and home decor items with used palettes. We are actually going to be breaking down an old mattress to use the springs as a trellis in our garden this year. πŸ™‚


  4. lilaeve says:

    This is beautiful and insightful. We are also on a journey, as a family, to live with fewer possessions for the sake of possessions – and it spills into and conflicts with our instinct and collections, but yet, when you let go it feels so freeing. The most important part of life is now truly in that last photo – and it’s the journey to that place that makes you understand. πŸ™‚ I appreciate you sharing – good luck with your move. We moved last summer, and we still have many boxes unopened: testament to the fact that we probably don’t “need” whatever’s in them. My heart is very happy for you.


    • quiltykanuck says:

      Thank you… Oh! I wasn’t clear I think… we did move : We bought this house 2 years ago. My daughter was 1 and we had so much work to do on the outside of the house that things just stayed in boxes in storage in the basement. Then, I was pregnant most of last year, then summer and gardening season came with a toddler and newborn… that being said, we are just NOW going through our stuff from 2 years ago. LOL!

      No, this is our home… we are here to stay now.


      • lilaeve says:

        Ah, oops, sorry! I didn’t realize! I feel you – I think our boxes have something to do with having a small child and being currently pregnant (I may also be a professional procrastinator). It is a bit freeing just to know that all that stuff wasn’t necessary through the last few years though, right? Whenever I uncover a kitchen utensil or some such other thing that hasn’t seen the light of day I think, “oh, hello, I guess I didn’t NEED you!” I love giving it away! πŸ™‚


      • quiltykanuck says:

        Us too! We have gotten our daughter involved with the process as well. She has been donating gender specific toys that our son will most likely not play with (those toys were given to us, we don’t really DO gender specific)… she has been feeling very grown up.


  5. Carie says:

    Oh so very true – I’m trying to do a little decluttering at the moment in anticipation of a new arrival in the summer and it’s amazing the things you thought you really needed to keep that turn out not to matter so much.


    • quiltykanuck says:

      Congrats on the new little one coming. πŸ™‚ Yes, indeed… so much I thought I couldn’t live without, until they stayed in boxes for 5 years. I picked up boxes that said “personal stuff” and couldn’t for the life of me remember ONE thing that was in them.


  6. Such an inspirational post! Our attachments can create chaotic life and mind. Getting rid of all the unnecessary things, we gain much cleared mind an perspective. I have to remember that and do some spring cleaning (throwing away stuff) soon πŸ™‚ Btw, you have a beautiful family!


    • quiltykanuck says:

      I’m glad I could inspire spring cleaning… one of my favorite things to do! πŸ™‚ And thank you for your kind words. I do feel blessed every moment of every day. I am surrounded by a wonderful husband and amazing kids. I couldn’t ask for anything more!


  7. Christine says:

    What a wonderful post… to enjoy the person you were and yet recognize that you have grown to a woman with different life-focus than you were then! I used to collect a lot of stuff as well… Pretty much mementos as you describe. I never really could find a “thing” I wanted to collect, although I always felt I should… I grew up with collector-type parents. Serious collector people. After my divorce 4 years ago, and relocating to a different state, I realized that there was so much “stuff” I did not need or want. After re-marrying I discovered that my husband is not a collector at all. If it’s not a “useful item it has no place in our home” is the sort of person he is. Frankly, I’m glad for that. There is no clutter inside our home, or around it outside. Everything has a place (although it’s not always IN it’s place), and I love that. I am definitely a different person than I was even 5 years ago. Obviously divorce and a family estrangement changes a person and makes one reevaluate what truly is important in life. A “growing up” experience to be sure… and in my case the best sort of growing up. Of breaking free of “you should be this kind of person” and always defering to others and pleasing others to being the person I am. It’s been freeing and helpful in removing the emotional clutter/stuff.

    Whew, I totally didn’t mean to go on there like that… Thanks for an introspective post!


    • quiltykanuck says:

      I LOVE that you just went on like that… Like I mentioned in another comment reply, I love when people share. I feel like I have guest bloggers on my page all the time. πŸ™‚

      Breaking free of who you SHOULD be. I love that! Ever since my kids have been born, I’ve been pulled towards a simpler life that has naturally made me want to get rid of a lot of things that just don’t relate to me anymore. I don’t need things to remind me of who I was, because who I was made me “ME” today, so aren’t I my best souvenir?

      Again, thank you for taking the time to share!


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