I’ve never read the Marie Condo book, Sparking Joy, but I’ve seen countless spoofs and mockeries of it on talk and comedy shows, but no matter who you are, we all collect things, and sometimes it’s hard to let them go.
As children we may find attachment in all sorts of things like rocks, bugs, leaves, or coins. I remember collecting bottlecaps, hockey/baseball cards, and stamps. Some collectors who started young and got in on the first wave of certain crazes and held onto the items—mint-in-box of course—had to opportunity to cash out many years later.
I put some of my hockey cards in my bike spokes because they made a cool sound. Maybe the Gretzky rookie card was one of them. I played with all my Star Wars toys until the paint wore off. My complete set of the ‘77 Philidelphia Flyers? Tossed after I moved away from home. Thanks, Mom.
There are somethings worth keeping but many things we hold onto—just in case. For example:
- How long do I keep that bag of twist ties?
- Expired vitamins: Yea/Nay?
- Old clothing: you say you need old rags and stuff to wear when painting, but when was the last time you did?
- Magazines: You haven’t made that recipe you wanted to.
- Nuts, bolts, and extra pieces: OK. Occasionally you will need that one bolt, but the extra pieces of the shelf that’s at the landfill?
- If you collect nuts and bolts, then you probably collect wood. Wood? Yeah. Unused ends of2 x 4s (actually 1½ x 3½s) and plywood—just in case. Good for small projects and eventually burning in the firepit.
- Books. Yes, books. Sometimes you just have to thro—just kidding, I always donate them, add them to a neighborhood lending library, or pass them to others.
- Broken tools: Yeah, you’re not going to fix them.
- Empty containers. No Tupperware? Sour cream and yogurt containers will suffice.
- That piece of paper with the phone number of email address?
- Batteries. I don’t know if they have a charge or not.
Every time I clean, I get rid of something, either in the trash or donate. Although, it never fails that a week after I toss something, I’ll need it.
I send an info letter to my subscribers who haven’t opened any of my newsletters for at least 10 weeks. Today that letter goes out to 17 inactive subscribers. Last time it went to 6 and one opted to stay.
Sometimes a purge is just what is needed in life.
Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
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