So I've been working on it my own self. I have A Goal, of sorts: to get rid of everything I don't 1) use or 2) adore. That leaves rather a lot of stuff, as you know: we all have Extra Stuff. The Good Stuff. The Just in Case Stuff. The stuff we feel guilty about not wanting: stuff someone gave us, someone we love but who maybe doesn't have exactly the same taste we do (the flowered apron, the cut-glass vase, the linen placemats (no, I do not own any of those things)).
I want my house--at least the rooms in which I spend the most time--to have only stuff I love. Not other stuff. Now, granted, there are rooms in my house that will never get there: our bedroom, The EGE's den, the kitchen. This is because I secretly suspect that The EGE is the one who was my mother's child and not me. She was a packrat. She would never, ever have described herself that way, of course. She was frugal, she didn't waste, she kept things Just In Case. She grew up during the Depression, when everything was precious, and she spent the first 25 years of her marriage moving from town to town as a doodlebugger. To do that, you had to be able to fit everything you owned into a little trailer and get it all packed up and ready to go within a week, tops. You couldn't own much. When they didn't have to move any more, she began accumulating things--furniture, clothes, papers. Stuff. And she never got rid of any of it. No, she wasn't a hoarder; until the last few years of her life, her house was spotless, everything in its place. But she was one person in a three-bedroom house, with one bedroom doubled in size and turned into a den, so you can imagine. Lots of stuff. And as she got older, it overwhelmed her, so much stuff.
I want my old age to NOT be about trying to take care of stuff, finding places for stuff, insuring stuff, dusting stuff.
Snort. "Dusting." What a concept: I don't dust. Nobody here dusts. The EGE vacuums my desk and various surfaces for me; dust is just what happens in West Texas, and you learn early on just to leave it. Eventually it will bond together with its own kind, and then you vacuum it up.
Someone else who lives in this house does not have those concerns about being overwhelmed with stuff. This other person sometimes makes me a tiny bit crazy (
This Person has a den in which to put their stuff. It is NOT a zenlike den. The Non-Zen Den.
Anyway, I said I'd show the latest results. The first photo is the huge give-away box with a smaller box of leather on top. The leather goes to Angie in Arizona--periodically I weed out my Leather Bin and pack up some to send her. I'm not accumulating more; I'm just slowly parting with more of what I already had, and she does cool stuff with it. Since I took this photo, there's also an envelope going to Lorri--a vintage slip she can use and said she'd like to have.
There's still more to do, of course. I'm slowly weeding my wardrobe down to Only Clothes I Love, and I'm going to start work on my--gasp--books, which will be painful and time-consuming (I have to at least START to read a book before I decide I don't want to keep it, right?) That's going to take a while. You know: you start a book to see if it's any good, and it turns out it IS good, and so you have to read it, and because you read only at bedtime, that takes a long time, and so weeks later you haven't gotten to any of the other books yet. But you did read a good book, so it's not like it was time wasted. That's what's going on now.
Now I'm off to take a walk before it gets hot. Then maybe more dyeing--I got three loads done yesterday and have two more to go.
If you've got any Before & After photos, I'd love to see them--link us up! XO