wooden dresser stored in unfinished basement

Thing Purgatory

Are you still punishing your things for not being quite right? Instead of releasing them to find new homes or go to their final resting place, have you opened up a branch of Purgatory in your basement where the things you no longer want, love or need are condemned to stay indefinitely? Do you hope perhaps that they’ll improve if left in basement limbo?

That bulky, clunky old dresser doesn’t fit into anybody’s bedroom, not in your house nor in that of any of your extended family members.

But perhaps if you leave it in the basement for another ten years, it’ll magically turn into the smart mid-century piece you wish it was. Like a fine wine ripening with maturity, its particle board patina will morph into burnished walnut. The scrapes and dings that adorn its sturdy legs will smooth themselves out over time.

Time has a way of creeping up on all of us. Suddenly we’re not saving things for  distant possibilities but squaring up to the reality that we have a lot more stuff now than we’ll ever need and it’s up to us to do something about it.

Your children don’t want better than ninety-five percent of it. They haven’t got room for any of it. They most certainly don’t want anything you took from your parents or grandparents and stuck in your basement. We live in the age of affluence and easy access to acres of stuff. We don’t have to hold onto a dresser because it’ll save our descendants so much money not to have to buy one themselves. Even if they take it, they’ll still buy their own and yours will go into another basement or worse, a storage unit.

Storage Units: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

If your things escape basement purgatory only to be consigned to the Hell of a storage unit, it’s not a positive step for them. Will they rest in a climate controlled setting? Most likely not. The dresser will attract a huge amount of dust, dry out even further, and continue its lack of usefulness. One day, someone will empty out the storage unit. They may carry the entire contents straight to the landfill, no matter how fine you think they are.

If you’d rather that happen than have to make the decision now, continue to send your things to basement purgatory. If you’d rather have some control over what happens to your things, it’s time to start decluttering.

Need help saving your things from the tortures of purgatory? I’m here for you.


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