Intro: I have too much stuff. I have less of it now. I get rid of it three things at a time.
This is where we started.
Two weeks later.
Not great, but getting better. I can finally see past clutter to the dust.
In just two weeks, I'm fairly happy (cautiously optimistic?) in regards to the results of my experiment. The overall goal was to have a place for everything and have everything in its place, and ridding myself of three things one tactic to that end. It's very easy to get caught up in the process of discarding things, only to regret it later or because I get validation from others, whereas not so much cheering goes on when I sort through the day's junk mail.
Still, there is no doubt "Three Things" has influenced my habits at large. More often that not, I will sort paperwork as I enter the house. Put things away as soon as I've finished with them. Created proper storage for "like" items so that I may find them quickly (or at all). Still working on not leaving my shoes where I kick them off, as well as my work shirts, which I tend to strip off more or less immediately after I sort the mail. I do have my moments as a backsliding sinner.
1. Clay beads. Ah, accessories, the great tattle-taler of taste, income, and sentimentality. Some people have so much jewelry they could accessorize any outfit. Some have one special piece (usually given to them by a loved one) that has tremendous meaning to them and they wear it every day. This string of beads was given to me as a gift. They are not a style I would have ever picked out for myself. This statement is not intended to offend the giver, the artist, or anyone who is right now looking at them thinking, "Well, aren't they cute/funky/artsy/fun!" I've worn them several times, mainly when I wanted to add a "pop of color" to the fat girl's go-to outfit: black on black on black -- and nearly every time, someone will compliment me on them, probably for the relief from my Dress to Depress outfit.
In truth though, they make me feel old. They remind me of the jewelry my mom - a woman of exquisite taste - started to buy when she was in her 60's and her mind started to falter. Attention-getting, loud, plastic. Bestower of the beads, forgive me if you're reading this. Enough people have complimented them that you know it's not you. It's me. Really, really, me.
Result: this would make an easy donation, but I have an alternative rest-stop on the way to permanently ridding myself of them: in my current job, I have to wear uniform tops that um, some people would LOVE to wear to work every day. And in my job, whenever one is on the sales floor answering questions, one must wear a distinctive set of beads, shells, flowers, whatever - and currently we all share the same plastic leis (and cringe) so I think these beads will be a nice replacement.
2. Hair ornament. what is this thing I have about poking myself in the neck with pointed sticks? NOW I remember why I stopped wearing chopsticks, hair sticks, etc. - it's not that they went out of style, it's that I got sick of stabbing and getting stabbed all day. I've never had a job that enabled me to sit quietly at a desk, so any movement related to actually doing my job causes enough stabbing pain without the addition of a hair piece.
Result? Thrown away. First, it was in my hair and it can't be cleaned. Second, in the picture it looks like the main section has a white border. It's not: that's where the suede shrank and has pulled back from the hard leather backing. I suppose I could color it in with a black Sharpie, but then I have a dirty-hair-Sharpie-smelly potentially dangerous thing to give to Goodwill and they just don't deserve it.
3. Make-up brush of indeterminate age. I suppose I could clean it. I suppose I should use it. I suppose if I were so motivated, I would stop using my fingers to apply my foundation, which has long ago stopped being powder-based. My skin sucks up foundation so quickly that no tools are really required to coax it into the cracks and crevices. Besides, I've hit that age where I don't want anything to accentuate the cracks and crevices.
If you are about to offer that this perfectly good brush could be repurposed for arts and crafts, then I must remind you who you are talking to. Do you really think I don't have brushes for painting, basting, touch-ups, and dusting? That there aren't 4 or 5 MORE brushes in my make-up kit?
Result: thrown away.
Keeper of the Day:
I grew up near an amusement park named "Knoebels Grove." The amazing thing about the place is not just that they have great rides, wonderful food and a charming, totally safe (albeit kitschy) feel but that it was and still has, FREE ADMISSION. Growing up in a household with very little money, my parents wisely took us there often (though not as much as we wanted); it was a great place to go as a teen; it continued to be fun as a young adult. I know the layout of the place like my own backyard.
Then I had kids.
And it was fun.
We camped there every year.
And I introduced the kids to my favorite rides and games.
But they grew up.
Need I say they don't walk around with me?
And the other adults, they don't like rides. They like to sit around camp and drink.
I found that each year the shine wore off.
It got to the point where now the kids don't want to go. I know that some day they'll go again, and they'll eventually take their own kids, but we live so far from where I grew up I never got to give them the tour of my hometown.
Time passing and missed opportunities make sad and I dwell on them too much. That's one reason I decided to get rid of stuff, especially stuff I associate with events, people and passages.
However, the last year I decided I'd go (until provided with grandchildren) I found these bumper-car salt and pepper shakers in a gift shop. Knoebels bumper cars are considered to be the best bumper cars in the world and I don't disagree. I had to have them.
When I see them, I'm happy.
You can't go home again.
But you can sometimes capture a little spark.
"It's good to leave your room super-messy when you're away. Whoever tries to break into your room will thought it has already been ransacked." ~Douglas Adams