6/4/18

Growing Up + Swedish Death Cleaning

I want to start this off by saying I am a ridiculous person, and I came home the weekend before exams started and then went back to Tuscaloosa for two and a half days before officially coming home for summer. I know this, but I don't regret my decision one bit because I think one of the first things I told my mom was, "I want to get rid of everything." I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in my childhood bedroom after basically living in my own ~400 square feet for the last eight months. (I lived in a three-person apartment but spent most of my time in my own room.)

This was my closet from my freshman year dorm

Unsurprisingly, my mom (and dad) were super excited about this because they have been talking about moving a lot in the last couple of years since I am the last kid in the house, and my parents are close to retiring. They definitely want the three kids to get out of the house as soon as possible. (Our basement also flooded while I was home, so in addition to cleaning my room, we cleared out most of our basement.) 

My mom is also very into like cleaning philosophies? That's the only way I can put it. She definitely read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and all that jazz, but when I got home, she was talking about Swedish Death Cleaning. Basically, the philosophy is you don't want to leave all your stuff for your children to clean up, so instead you do your best to have as little stuff as possible. Then once you die, your children or whoever you leave behind don't have to spend a ton of timing sorting through your things. Harsh and morbid, right? But it makes sense. 

While I don't super want to think about my own mortality a ton right now, I think you can modify the philosophy of Swedish Death Cleaning as a twenty-something who is basically a nomad. I know for sure that I am moving three times in the three years. I have so much stuff that I know I am not going to want to move out of my childhood bedroom once I move somewhere for grad school or my first job, so it was definitely time to get rid of some high school (and middle school) memories.

A lot of my clearing out process involved getting rid of clothes. I wouldn't say I have a ton of clothes, but I have a lot of clothes that I don't wear. Stuff that didn't necessarily fit my style anymore or didn't fit me... I figured out that I have a lot of guilt surrounding clothes, especially if my mom bought them for me. Like even I don't like something/it doesn't fit me, I will keep it because I feel bad about getting rid of it. Something cleaning out my closet made me realize, however, is how much I have been struggling with my personal style lately. I guess it's because I wear the same five pairs of leggings and same 10 t-shirts at school, and when I get home, I still do that, yet I have all these clothes. I might write something later this summer about refiguring out my personal style, but for now, we can all just be proud of the number of clothes I got rid of.

I definitely feel like I still have a lot of stuff, and it probably doesn't help that there are still some things in my apartment that I kept there over the summer. I am still split between two places, but I feel less overwhelmed, I guess? I am by no means anywhere close to living out my minimalist fantasies, but I am now less of a hoarder. At least right now. I'll probably have to deal with all of the paper I accumulate again next summer, but for now, I am feeling good.

xx, jKm

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