It’s that time of the year. I get the nesting thing and start to clean out stuff. I happens every year. Each year the cut gets deeper. The goal is that by the time I move to the nursing home, I will only have a suitcase to carry.
This year the bread maker went. This was a painful despite the fact that I haven’t used it in 15 years. Still there may be that day when I want to make bread. A cold, snowy day with a big pot of soup on the stove…..
I was raised by a woman who went through the “Big Depression.” I keep extras of extras just in case, but I’m in recovery. I no longer keep tin cans. (They are great for cleaning paint brushes. Oh wait! I don’t use oil paint!)
I don’t collect fake butter containers (anymore). (I do keep a few quart-sized yogurt containers. You never know when you’ll give someone soup! And just a few take-out containers….for the same reason. I could open a soup kitchen!)
It’s not so much admitting that I don’t use or need something, it’s my neurosis that I have to find a home for the stuff. A good home. One that will nurture it and treasure it (yes we are talking about vases, teapots and other non-life stuff here). I don’t want it to go to the landfill or (gasp!) an unworthy house.
Some of it has value. Cut glass bowls. Some is pretty. Many were gifts. Collectively it’s not enough to bring in an auctioneer or appraiser. (“Sure lady this cut glass bowl is nice but you can buy one at the store for $80!”)
Really tough job (at least for me). Enter Marie Kondo.
She has written a fabulously successful book on organizing. More pointedly – throwing out everything that doesn’t bring you joy. The technique is to hold something to see if it gives you joy. If not, throw out or donate.
You either love her or think it’s a big rip-off. She talks about joy a lot. A whole lot.
Could this work for me? Can you really feel joy by holding something? Can I get over the need to re-home?
Where to start? The beloved husband’s stuff? I don’t think I would find joy there. I also don’t think I’d be successful in throwing any of his stuff out. (He oversees the trash.)
I got a lead on a place that sells second-hand stuff (nice stuff) and the proceeds go to a women’s homeless shelter. Their pickings are attractive enough that I know someone who shops there. This would give me joy.
On a positive note I found that I have been folding my clothes correctly. I “rotate” most of my clothes – jeans, nightgowns, socks, etc. To do that you have to fold and store vertically so you can push the pile to the right and add the newly laundered to the left. Perhaps I should write a book!
(Note to self: You missed writing about sex toys and clothes folding, both authors were financially successful. Pay attention please! No one cares about your adventures with lemon pie!)
Author’s note: I did not read Ms. Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” I did watch her YouTube videos. If you are truly disorganized (I’m not disorganized, I just hate to part with usable stuff), it’s a good start.
Another note: Sorry about the blurry selfie. Can’t take a clear picture, focus and hold the camera steady while I press the button. It’s like walking and chewing gum.