To my surprise I fell into my mother's footsteps at first when I got my first apartment and when I first started modeling abroad with my husband! We schlepped huge suitcases over cobblestone streets in Milan, Italy toward our pensione. When I unpacked, my husband Torino looked at me and with wide eyes, said, "Really?" After a few weeks, I left most of my jewelry, scarves and clothing for the housekeepers with a kind note. It felt good too. Now, years later, I maintain the monthly routine with my own kids. We go through the cupboards and closets and give away what we don't wand or need. I aim for a minimal look in the home. If I like the items, the tchotchkes, I keep them in the basement and rotate my stuff so I can enjoy the memories associated with the material things without having them ruin my sanctuary. We take photos of our favorite things we are ready to give up to someone else so they can enjoy what we enjoyed.
I think I fell into my mother's habits at first because it kept me close to her even when we were far apart physically. The connection to her habits was my lifeline to her because I traveled when there was no cell phone, email, computers, or any instant gratification. We wrote letters and waited weeks to hear from family. I moved around so much modeling that some letters never reached me before I was gone, on to another country. I lived in 44 countries in my years of modeling around the globe. I was motivated to change when I saw how easily my husband was moving around the globe. He said prayer and meditation kept him close to his mom. She sent him tiny prayer books. They prayed the same prayers from the same books and that was their connection. I decided that I was able to establish my own style of connection with my mom without being so attached to all of my stuff like she was.
She was born during the 1920s. There wasn't much to go around, so when she had stuff she loved to have all of it all the time. It all seems useful to her and "you never know when there will be another depression and then you will wish you had these things." That's what I grew up hearing.
Now I feel uncomfortable when I enter a home with too much stuff or even clutter or dirty array. I want to help organize and clean! I feel a sense of freedom when I let go of the things that held my mom the prisoner of her things. I don't have to be a partner to them. I would much rather be a partner to my friends and family.