My friend Jenny over at her blog Words on Wendhurst has started a fantastic January initiative. She emailed me last week, inviting me to participate in a month of purging. The idea is to get rid of 111 things in January of 2011.
At first I hemmed and hawed. But then I thought about it. 111 things in a month is only about 30 per week. I already knew there were some pairs of shoes that could go asap, but had been hanging around causing trouble and taking up space. And suddenly, the fire was lit. I started zipping like a whirlwind through my house piling up stuff to get rid of.
Within half an hour, I had a pile of 30 things.
There were things to pass on to Goodwill such as this cruet. I kept it because I grew up in Spain, where everyone and their mother has a cruet. Keeping the olive oil and vinegar handy is 100% necessary to the daily salad.
However, I rarely serve salad, so I just hung on to it for about 6 years. Enough is enough, I say! Out with the salad! Out with the idea that my Spanish heritage is tied into the objects I own!
Then there was hair paraphenalia that I hadn’t worn in years. A plastic measuring cup (we switched to glass). A hideous bowl from my college days that used to house pounds upon pounds of Ramen noodles and Easy Mac.
I could never get those hair sticks to actually stay in my hair anyway. Good riddance!
This velvet hat was just too tight on my head. The purple sunglasses are fun . . . but the last time I wore them was Wild West Days 2003.
As I piled the stuff into a bag, I realized I was looking forward to zipping through the house the following week, scrounging up another 30 things.
I wondered if I was cheating because I wasn’t getting rid of ‘big’ things. But then I realized that it’s not the big things that tend to clutter things up–it’s the little things. Like old make up in my make up bag that I just can’t part with. Jewelry from high school that is no longer my style. This little ceramic bowl bestowed on me by a bed and breakfast in Mexico.
It’s especially important for me to establish myself as firm ruler of the clutter monster, because my Mom’s side of the family has passed on a series of genes that make me particularly prone to saving things I don’t need. We spent the money, so we might as well hang onto it in case we need it in the future. Or It may not fit quite right now, but who knows, maybe it will later. Hah! Do I expect my feet to change shape magically to better fit those shoes? Do I really think one day I’ll resurrect that old mangled and yellowed bra? Lies, all lies!
I will dominate my clutter. I hereby proclaim it.
So cheers to January and Jenny’s intiative! If any of you want to participate, by all means let me know in the comments!
I can’t wait until next week.
I just have to ask myself if I have the strength to get rid of my old college coursework papers . . .