This morning I handed my secretary a bag with 17 years of business cards in it. I was uncomfortable putting these cards in the trash, even though some of the organizations don't even exist anymore (I was IT Audit partner for Dean Witter when it was blown out of Tower 2 at the World Trade Center in 9/11 - 3 of my younger staff members survived - one because he went for a smoke break, and two because they were running a little later than usual for work that morning). I would estimate that I threw away over 2 pounds of cards from the greater New York area, from all over Japan, and from all over Asia.
I have never considered myself a particularly "neat" person (and several former girlfriends would tell you I'm a slob), but as I am aging, I am finding I need more order, and less clutter. It rattles my psyche if I cannot find things (which was one reason why having a live-in housekeeper was a challenge - she'd put things away and I would not know where!).
Perhaps it is the KIND of move I am making - from a nice apartment into storage for an undetermined amount of time. Maybe it parallels the fact that I think (??) my life in retirement will be simpler. Maybe the fact that my eyes don't see as well as they used to means that I want less stuff to have to see (or dust).
I've been passing on books - which I have never done. I've been putting things in the rubbish - instead of trying to find SOMEONE who wants this or that tchotchke. And lordy, I'm even considering gifting some of my yarn stash to my mother (shock!).
Those recent tornadoes from Alabama look like they have visited my apartment at the moment. The cats are totally freaking out. They never liked it when I got out my suitcase, and now there are things strewn from bow to stern. And every time I seal a well-organized box, I have a sense of accomplishment. Everytime I dump out another stack of paper that I once thought I'd "need" I rejoice.
I'm not longer a Fibber McGee...