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It’s time to clean out the clutter

I am in the middle of moving and I can say, without reservation, that moving stinks.

I am in the middle of moving and I can say, without reservation, that moving stinks.

The packing, cleaning and everything about it. Stinks.

We have too much stuff. I’m talking not only for me but in the broader sense. Why do we need so much stuff?

I have a storage unit full of things that I never need during the course of my day. In fact, much of it I haven’t looked at in more than a year.

I hold onto things on the off chance I might need them someday.

Someday has yet to come.

Every Tuesday at 1 p.m., the sidewalk in front of our offices on Victoria Road are swarmed with people going to the Auxiliary Thrift Store.

I watch as they march by with their treasures.

Retail therapy is a real thing.

I’m convinced I could live without 90 per cent of the items in that storage unit, however when it comes time to purge I doubt I will be able to part with those items.

I had a conversation recently regarding what kind of place I could live in.

I have always thought I could live rather simply. Small apartment, no storage necessary.

The truth is I want a large home and enjoy being able to have space to spread out. I’m not sure I could sacrifice.

The biggest thing that stinks about moving is change. Different surroundings, different bedtime routine, different neighbours, different drive to work.

Change is hard.

Adjusting to change can be frustrating.

Why can’t everything just remain the same?

I’m convinced that is why most people, in small towns like Summerland, fear density. It’s nothing to do with aesthetics or lost views.

It’s the change.

We place value on having a yard, a basement, a workshop. We can’t imagine why anyone would want to live in a multi-storey building.

That would require a huge purge of belongings for most home dwellers.

The more years in the home, the larger the garbage bin required.

So I return to the question. Why do we need so much stuff?

Do we fear change so much that we are afraid to throw out that old lamp shade from the 1980s?

It’s comforting, knowing that if I need a small piece of carpet, I probably have it in a bin somewhere.

One never knows when you might need the old cell phone charger for the phone you don’t own anymore.

What about the rolls and rolls of electrical tape? Never know...better keep it.

I can rationalize keeping almost anything.

It’s a disease.

In honour of spring, I’m going to brave the change and get rid of lots of the precious belongings packed away in storage.

I will sell what’s worth selling, donate what I can — and probably watch it walk by in the hands of a happy thrift store customer.

I will not let my hoarder brain rationalize keeping that Calgary Flames finger from 1988 or that pack of electrical switches for a house I no longer own.

Or the jar of nails.

Wait. I may need those nails.

Better keep them.

Rob Murphy is the sales manager at the Summerland Review.