I take a brief pause from cleaning and organizing (which really means organizing and making a bigger mess) to ponder this thought: If I could only keep 100 things, what would I keep? I got this from a magazine where a family, in a very small house, had worked to get themselves out from under STUFF.
This is hard for me since I probably own a good 30 pairs of underwear (let’s just say that for a L O N G time laundry wasn’t my friend), tons of books (mostly for teaching), and loads of socks and jewelry. This doesn’t even include pictures or CDs. Yes, we still own CDs.
Still, it’s got me thinking about paring down. I’m looking at items and thinking do I really use it? Do I really love it? Does it bring me joy? The answer, in many cases, is no. I have lots of items that I bought for a “me” that I thought I wanted to be, or a me I wanted other people to see, but who wasn’t really me. I bought a Chanel-style jacket. I hate it. I like the IDEA of it, but in all honesty, it makes me look boxy. I have a big, wide butt. Why put a box on top of that? I never felt sophisticated; I felt phony.
I’ve done that with jewelry, shoes, books, and home decorations. I hate knickknacks — HATE them. Yet, there I was buying small bowls for displaying objects. What was I thinking? These things have already been taken to Good Will. However, from looking around my bedroom, I can see I have more work to do. I need to consider the person I am, right now, in 2011. I am a 44-year old (OK in February I’ll be 44; close enough) wife, mother, and teacher. The objects I keep need to reflect that.
As I work to clean and organize, I’m going to keep in mind the idea of 100 things. Perhaps in a year or two, I’ll be brave enough to winnow myself down to only a few essential items. In the meantime, I plan on exploring why, somewhere in my dark recesses, more is more.