07 March 2013

Merging Households: What To Say Goodbye To

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Note: Found this post unpublished from a few weeks ago. Before you read it, know that I got rid of the TV. :)

While I've had a tad more time by myself the last little while I've been taking a hard look at the realities of merging households. The Man has a houseful of stuff and I have an apartment's worth of stuff. We can't possibly keep everything. As far as furniture goes, we just do not need one more darn thing unless we were to somehow live in multiple homes.

The Man's home decor consists of a lot of beautiful pieces that belonged to his mother, lovely things he's gathered and a few more man friendly things like black leather couches. Would I love to reupholster and paint a lot of it, yes, but I'm not going to even broach that subject....yet. Would I like to say goodbye to some of it, why yes. How do I find me in all of it?

Just like The Man, my furniture has been collected and gathered throughout my adult life. Mine is an eclectic mix of old and new with a Pacific Asian influence. I have to admit I feel quite sentimental about it all. But it makes no sense for me to keep all of it. I imagine we'll merge things and try to reinvent "us" out of our two separate furniture universes. So I'm asking myself some hard questions.

Just last week I began selling off a few pieces. It took me a year to let go of the things on my list, some chairs that were just taking up space. I have another set of chairs that I think I will sell. Then I have a few odds and ends things, art, tables, bookcases, etc. that I really need to evaluate.

One thing I need to let go of is an old 13" TV with VCR. It is gigantic and being analog it's pretty useless except for watching VHS tapes which is a little embarrassing in the "I'm watching TV on my phone" era. But I am having a hard time letting go because my parents gave it to me eons ago. It's sitting by the front door, just waiting for me to go to the thrift store -- and I keep walking by it.

I am realizing that my emotions are in a duel with my practicality at the moment. I know I'm allowed to feel sentimental and to treasure things. But sometimes I look at things and think I don't have any enthusiasm for that piece, I just have a sense of loving obligation to it because it's gone from home to home to home with me for 15 years. It's different to merge two lives when you are a little older because you've created a history of yourself and it involves experiences and possessions you've accumulated along your glorious life journey.

As I look around my home, while writing this, I see treasures from Thailand, England, Tahiti, Scandinavia and from all over the United States. I see pretty things I've purchased to celebrate special occasions and amazing thrift store finds that made me sing with glee. I see crafts and art that I have made. As I retrace my steps around the globe, my soul begins to remember my journeys and these small reminders take on greater meaning.

It's a gentle, sweet reminder to treasure where I've been. Even better it's a beautiful reminder of all the sweet things that are to come, the new adventures, the new people and new places -- new homes-- that will come. So I don't have to hold onto everything.


Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

Oh gosh, it's so hard to merge two homes that are full of things each loves!

I was lucky in that my husband only had a few pieces of furniture in his apartment. He hadn't gotten around to furnishing most of it - our first few dates at his place were spent sitting on the floor :)

It might help to take a photo of each piece you love that you are letting go of, and the put those photos in a journal and write the memory of each?

kalanicut said...

Such a good idea, Jane! Thank you.

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