Do you store things for others? Family members, friends, organizations you belong to?
I spent a good portion of today driving to various locations around town to pick up items that need to be at the Alternative Humane Society’s annual meeting tomorrow. There is also a stack of boxes of promotional items for my business’s upcoming trade show booth taking up space in my living room right now. My garage is full of things I’m keeping “to use later” or “to pass on to my kids… someday”.
We humans are sentimental creatures, for the most part. We like to hang onto things that have value, whether they’re only valuable to us, or could be considered valuable on the general market. And we like to help out a friend or charitable cause when we can. That’s all good and fine, until the storing of things starts to keep you from living the life you want to live.
If guests have to sleep on the couch because the guest room is crammed full of uncompleted projects and “stuff to look at”, it might be time to actually take a look at all that stuff. Ask yourself if it’s contributing to the life you want to live, or detracting from it.
If you have the space to store things for friends, great! But be realistic about the space that you have, and remember that it’s ok to say no. Things have energy, and that affects your life. Moving, repackaging, sorting, and just keeping track of it all takes up your time and energy.
If you’ve accumulated valuable things over the years that you don’t want to just throw away, check out Freecycle. You can find a Freecycle group in your own community. (Here in Bellingham, you can also participate in the Whatcom Potlatch gifting community.) Members post needs, or offer items they have. You may be surprised to find a perfect match for that obscure useful item that’s been in your garage for 15 years.
By all means, continue to be generous with the time and space that you have. But don’t feel bad about setting limits!