Life Cleaning

It’s spring cleaning, with a twist.
I’m leaving Australia in less than two months to go on exchange to the UK for a year. I currently live at home with my Mum. During the year that I’m away, my Mum is planning on moving house, meaning that my room, and all my stuff, have to be packed up before I leave. Not only that, but a couple of months ago my little brother moved out, and in a couple of months my older brother plans to move out as well. So that means all three of us boys are flying to coop in the space of half a year. So no more big five bedroom houses for Mum anymore, she is planning on moving into a little two-bedroom apartment in West End. So I’ve got a problem; not only do I have to pack up all my stuff, I have to throw out the majority of it as well, becuase there is simply not going to be anyplace to put it all.
So all of that led to me spending most of today spring cleaning, going through my bookcase, cupboards, draws and sorting out what I want, need, cherish, and what is essentially junk I’ve accumulated over the years. Some of that “junk” was important to me once, but now it belongs in the bin. I’ve got old primary school assignments, early highschool work, birthday cards going to back when I was eight, an assortment of remote controlled cars and other miscellaneous electronic gear, hundreds of magazines and comics, all sorts of different books, and other stuff to varied to mention. After a short nostalgic browse, about 90% of it all went straight in the bin.
My good (fiction) books I’m giving to my older brother for the most part. We have very similar tastes, and are always borrowing each other’s stuff anyway, to the extent that we are not really sure who owns what now. He’ll probably get my stereo too. As for everything else I actually want to keep, well I’ll find good homes for it all.
It had been strange deciding what portion of my life I need physical records of and what I can make due with just my memories. It has also been very liberating too in a way, as I could start afresh in effect and throw away all evidence that any of those old times happened. Not that I want to forget my past, but it’s nice not having an accumulated weight of “stuff” that represents it anymore. There is a freedom associated with being able to pack everything that really means to you in a single bag, and say, “That represents all the physical reminders I need for my life.” Before this little spot of spring cleaning I thought that I really needed all that stuff, now I realise that life just gets too cluttered if you hold onto it all. I feel like a blank canvas now, upon which I can paint another twenty odd years of new memories.