I was thinking about this today and I thought I’d let everyone know that I learned something funny from my Dad, although it did take me a few years to get it right.
Recently we decided to clean out the house and get rid of all of the stuff that we really didn’t need. At first there were things that we were hesitant to get rid of. We kept saying things like, “What if we need it again…”, “This is new, it would be a waste to throw it out…”, etc. But then we decided that if we had not used something in the past 6 months it was going out to the street. After an hour we had a huge pile of stuff out by the road and a family living behind us came and took all of it away. It was great to have so much extra room in our house and for the next few weekends we did the same thing.
Then I decided to clean out my closet because I just had too much stuff. I found a shirt that I had only worn once, it was a nice shirt so I put it in the keep pile until I found a photo of me wearing the shirt that was about 3 years old. Then I was much more aggressive at cleaning out the closet.
So back to my Dad… When we were kids my Dad would tell us that we needed to clean our rooms, so Ben and I would hesitate and put it off because what kid honestly want’s to go clean anything? Then came the threat, “In 15 minutes I’m bring in the black snapper and I’ll clean your room for you.” my Dad would say. (The “black snapper” is what we called the huge black trash can that the city provided for trash pickup. It was big and black and the lid would “snap” shut on your fingers if you were not careful because it was pretty heavy.) So that was enough to get me and Ben to clean up our rooms because we didn’t want any of our stuff thrown out.
But now I’ve learned that keeping things that you don’t use just to keep from throwing them out is a bad idea. The next thing you know you are living like a pack rat with all of the stuff that you just couldn’t part with. As it turns out, the black snapper is really not a bad idea when it comes to cleaning. It’s actually a good idea to throw things away that are just taking up space.
So thanks Dad! It took me a while, but I finally learned to throw things away and not feel bad about it!