Buying a brand-new home is tricky, because the newness of it suddenly makes all of your stuff look old and used. I have a tendency to hold onto some things way beyond their useful lives, but how do you really know when to replace or update things?

My white sofa is definitely on the “kick to the curb” list, even if it means I won’t have any place to sit in my new living room for awhile. We bought it 15 years ago as part of a set when we built our first new home. It went into the formal living room, and kept its pristine condition for 12 years because we never used it. I got it in the divorce settlement, and after just 3 years of kids and the dog using it daily, it’s history. I’ve tried having it cleaned, but it’s hopeless. I tried the slipcovers… too much of a pain. So that’s sort of a no-brainer. I won’t even try to sell it. I’ll just literally put it on the curb and hopefully someone will be able to put it to good use for awhile longer.

I was just upstairs looking at my dresser. I could definitely go for an update, but I can’t really justify it. The top has some places where the finish has been ruined by various things, and it’s very dark wood in a colonial style which has passed its prime. But it works. It’s a solid piece of furniture, and to replace it would be costly. I guess I’ll hang on to that.

As I work my way through the house, I have to go through this mental debate with myself over each piece.

During the divorce, everything held memories for me and I couldn’t bear to part with any of it. But at some point very recently, I have cut the connection with my furniture and I have mentally let it all go. I don’t think there’s one piece I couldn’t live without.

If I could afford to get rid of everything and start over, I would. It would save me some moving costs, also. But that’s not very realistic for me, so I have my trusty excel spreadsheet with all my needs and wants, and I shuffle them around daily to stay within my furniture budget.

No one is in my ear telling me “we can’t afford that.” It’s only a matter of priorities, and I get to set them.

One thing that’s important for me to replace is my mattress set. I hear creepy stories about dead skin cells and the crud that accumulates over the years in our bedding. My mattress is 15 years old and full of dead cells from a person I don’t like very much anymore. I don’t want to drag him into my new master suite, even if the mattress still seems very comfortable to me.

When I first began the divorce process, I wasn’t sure if it were possible to own a dream house ever again, but I certainly was not going to have one in NJ. I was consumed with rage and anger about having to stay in this state, and I constantly tried to find supportive evidence that I could use to petition the courts to let me get out of here. (NJ divorce laws prevent the custodial parent from removing the children from the state of residence without the other parent’s permission.)

I spent so much time and energy hating it here, that I didn’t have time to find the good parts. (There are always good parts.)

But I finally decided it was time to let go of that – not to give up on my dream of leaving NJ, but let go of the “when” and the “how.” I decided I could either live the next 12 years in rage, or I could find a way to be happy until I am free to choose where I want to live.

The planets aligned and the stars shone and soon I had a new job and a new house. And I feel happy.

Imagine that.

2 Comments on “How Do You Know When it’s Time to Let Go?

  1. I never know when to get rid of things. I just tossed a chair (that my mother had slip covered to hide some ugliness I couldn’t see) after I was given a new one (by my mother … she and dad moved to a new smaller place) that needed a home.Hmmm. Maybe I should send my mom by your place. She seems to be the key to my tossing stuff.

    Like

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