Beth Meadows

Don't Let Me Live in Limbo

Beth MeadowsComment

I’m giving my first talk about my home organization business next Tuesday at IJAMs Nature Center. It’s free, there are still spot available, and you can go here to learn how to register.

I recently packed up all of my belongings to put into storage. I’m between houses right now, temporarily living at my parent’s cabin in Townsend. It’s been a goal of mine for a while to live here, and I’m so glad to finally be doing it.

My studio was located in the house I just moved from, as well as a woodshop in the basement, so it was my first time to move my personal belongings along with all my art supplies and tools. The process was incredibly overwhelming.

I’m going to talk more about this at my presentation, and you can learn a little bit about why I started an organization business here, but even though I personally started the organization process several years ago, I’m still very much in it. I have boxes from my childhood to go through, and items that I know I don’t want, but I know I don’t want to just hand over to a thrift store (an old computer, antiques I could sell, vintage jewelry that may be gold??). These boxes of “unprocessed” items are much fewer than they were before, but seeing them in storage on top of boxes of things I want to keep, on top of all my art supplies was a big dose of reality. I have a lot of “stuff” for one person!

I’m grateful to have friends who could store my big furniture and boxes in their basements, and for my boyfriend who gladly took all my books. And for people who swooped in to buy artwork just so I wouldn’t have to store it.

This phase in my life is temporary, but it’s a strange feeling for me to have so many things in storage because of my beliefs about this very subject, and it’s giving me time to think through it all.

I don’t think you should ever force yourself to give up things you aren’t ready to give up. Our belongings have a lot of emotion tacked on to them and it can be a slow process to navigate through that. I have seen first hand that if I store sentimental things for a year, and I look at them again, I am often ready to let them go. This is a good feeling, to trust in time and distance.

The biggest hope I have for my clients and myself is to quit living in limbo, or if we have to live in limbo, not to live there for long. For instance, don’t store things just to store them, but rather live within the means of the space you have. If you know you will have a bigger space within a year, I think it’s fine, but if it’s years, do your best to accept your present state of life by letting go of what can’t fit. I think this simple rule of thumb can change your perspective on life. The opposite of limbo is living in the present. When we live within our means financially and spatially, we allow our minds to rest and focus on the most important things in our lives, and these things are different from person to person.

I know my set of circumstances is temporary. I plan to move in to a new place within a year, and there, all the things I put into boxes will go with me. While I’m not a huge advocate for minimalism either way, I do daydream about owning less, and, as a result, moving around in the world a little more easily. I hope this process, will help me put some things into perspective. When I open those boxes again, I want to be able to let go of many of the objects in them.

I am pondering the vision I have for my life. What is yours?