Today's task is one that I was simultaneously excited about and dreading. Today we had to get rid of one item in our home and establish an outbox.
I thought about this on and off today, but I never decided exactly what I'd get rid of. Still, I thought it would be easy. When I got home and watched the video, I knew I couldn't live up to Maxwell's giving up an old iPod, but I was going to do my best.
I started with my outbox.
I wanted to put it someplace where it was out of sight most of the day, but where we would still be faced with it every day. I decided the powder room would be the perfect spot. I chose an old wastebasket that held ll of our paint swatches and some tile samples that we ordered for the fireplace and backsplash long before we actually got to the project. Actually looking through them was kind of great, because it reminded me how far we've come. They were tiny, bright colored tiles, and so different from what we ended up with! I hesitated to get rid of them, but what was I going to do with a few square inches of tile? Nothing. And we've already chosen every paint color for the house. So into the trash they went!
And I set the wastebasket up on the powder room shelves so we'll be sure to see it every day.
This won't be permanent, because those shelves won't be there once we redo the powder room. Then we'll think of something else.
I started out the removal with a stack of old magazines and catalogs. I'm not sure why we've been keeping them honestly. It's just a habit.
But into the recycling they go!
But that wasn't enough. I started in on the pantry next. First I got rid of a box we've been keeping just in case we wanted to return the light that came in it. But I kept going with couple of wedding gifts that we haven't touched. Since we've been married two and a half years, I think it's safe to donate them now.
Why did we keep these? The wheat pitcher was not our style, and has never been our style. And the novelty filled cake pan? I'm kind of a classic baker, myself. I'd rather have a nice round cake. For some reason, it's just been hard to give up wedding gifts. But just because we appreciate the sentiment and the thought doesn't mean we have to keep the gift itself.
It's the same with the last item I got rid of, the double blender set. It was a gift from my parents when I moved out into my first apartment alone. And I loved that apartment. Most of the things I had in that apartment are gone now (our guest bed and the TV in our bedroom were the only items I can think of. WAIT! our microwave was also in that apartment.). But it was a really wonderful place and time, and I've hesitated to get rid of them.
But the reality is the blenders are big, bulky, and a hassle to clean. And I have a stick blender that I'd much rather use if I want to make a smoothie or a small batch of soup, and a food processor for bigger jobs. And there's no reason to be sentimental over a blender.
So I loaded up my trunk and I'll stop by Goodwill on my way home tomorrow.
Giving things up may not come easily to me, but it's worth it. It's a nice reminder that I should only have things I LOVE. I got another reminder today as I put out my new little dish that I bought last weekend at an antique store. At $7, it was probably one of my more expensive plates as far as surface area, but it's by far my favorite. It's a Japanese piece, based on a silky chicken, and it's the perfect size to hold my jewelry while I do the dishes or work in the yard.
I hope that someday all of the things in my home will make me smile like this little chicken. There are quite a few items that I love like this. My little owl on the mantel, our shadowbox with an imprint of Weenie's paw print, the letterpress prints in our guest bath, my vintage brass candlesticks, and our owl sugar bowl.
It's good practice to remember that letting go of things you don't use, need, or truly love makes room for new things to come into your house. Things that are useful, things that are beautiful, things that make you smile every time you look at them.
That's what we're striving for, and I think today's 20 minutes got us a little bit closer.