As I go through the process of cleaning clutter out my closets, I’ve noticed a power struggle with myself. A self-dialogue along the lines of, “Do you REALLY want to part with that???”
It’s like my clutter, knowing that it’s headed out the door, is making a final desperate appeal to be rescued from the Goodwill pile.
I had an heirloom 30-place setting of bone china that I recently cut down to a 10-place setting and I’ve been agonizing over that decision for two weeks. It’s my great-grandmother’s china. My table only seats 4-6, so really I still have a few extras for breakage and should be fine. If I ever host a huge event (not likely, my townhouse is just over 1,000 square feet) I could rent china; I don’t really need my own. I have it displayed in a glass-front china hutch, so at least it’s not in a dark cupboard. I use the occasional bowl or teacup and often do use the serving pieces, but I have only used the plates ONCE! For a dinner party of four! Yet I keep rehashing in my mind whether I should have given away the other place settings. Ultimately, I know I made the right decision. The pattern is discontinued, but I checked and it is available on eBay if I drop a bunch of plates and need replacements!
And the self-dialogue continues. As I picked up a pair of binoculars, I thought, “No, I might use them to go birdwatching.” I put them back on the shelf to keep. A minute later, I thought, I’ve NEVER been birdwatching! What kind of crazy excuse is that? The binoculars went on the pile. They were a gift and I think I’ve used them once in 10 years.
The rock climbing equipment finally went out in the last Goodwill trip. I kept hoping I’d get back into it, but I’ve developed a bone spur in my knee, so it’s looking unlikely.
I stored my debutante dress for too many years, for sentimental reasons – I’m really not going to wear a big poofy white formal gown again. Some bride will get a nice deal on her wedding dress or a teenager will have a great dress for her Quincinieras. One of my best friends did get her wedding dress at a thrift shop and loved it. Any wedding in my future will definitely not involve a big white formal gown with a crinoline (it would be a very small and simple event), so it’s just taking up space in the closet! A LOT of space, come to think of it!
I’ve been hanging on to my skydiving equipment too, again for sentimental reasons, but it’s not doing me any good in the closet. I have photos, videos and a couple of skydiving logbooks. I don’t really need the actual parachute. If I haven’t jumped since 1999, I’m probably not going to do it again in the near future. (I will re-sell it to a dealer though; I don’t want an untrained person getting their hands on a parachute! That would be irresponsible).
Had to get rid of the unicycle too (do you see a trend here)? I actually just bought it in the past year or two. I enjoyed it for a very short time until it aggravated the bone spur in my knee. I kept hoping I could ride it again, but it’s better just to move on at this point.
I’m still having trouble letting go of my tennis racket. Even though I have the bad knee, I DO have tennis courts right down the street. I might hang onto it, because yoga is starting to strengthen my joints, and the racket doesn’t take up much space…..wait a minute. Am I doing it again?