I received an email from Di last week which contained this passage…
I’ve got to the deeper layers – it’s not just about clothes… and it’s quite hard. Jewellery (gifted and pretty – just too much – have managed to donate quite a bit), photos (out of 6 albums and a box and now ready to go and be scanned but have discovered loads of digital ones on a hard drive), digital clutter (hard cos it’s not so tangible and takes ages – currently doing a ‘folder’ a day), my christening shawl (beautiful and knitted by my gran but now going to a friend’s daughter who is having a baby), unwanted ‘inherited stuff’ that ‘should’ be worth money (all off to the auction house) and you’ll laugh at this one – concert tickets from the late 80s early 90’s – hard to part with simply cos I’d kept them in the first place and keeping them became a habit, doh!
…which is what inspired this weeks set of mini missions. It got me thinking about things I still have or do out of habit, habits passed down through the generations and habits followed just because they are the norm. Some of these habits are quite futile when you start to dissect them.
Have you noticed that keeping things becomes a habit, like Di and her concert tickets. Once started, collecting habits can be hard to break, even though you might have lost the interest to continue you feel you should. Then when you do, so much history and sentiment is attached to these items yet, not so deep down, you really want to be rid of them and still you just can’t bring yourself to do it. At that point they have become clutter and you have two choices keep them or liberate the space and purge them. It is that simple, and that difficult, and the only person who can make the choice is you. The question is ~ what do you want more?
Then there are habits of the generations. In my parents, grandparents, great grandparents… eras it was the norm to pass down items like crystal, the good china, furniture and other items from one generation to the next. It is still happening to this day but what I have noticed among my readers here is that many of our generation don’t want these items that are usually “kept for good”. This creates a problem in itself ~ you feel obliged to accept these items because it is the custom (habit) to accept what is handed down. Well guess what you once again have choices, you can either conform either wilfully or against your will, you can accept and use the items anytime not “just for good” or you can just say no, politely of course. Trust me, it is possible, I have done it.
Then there are the habits we have developed through childhood to adulthood simply from the world around us. Habits we don’t think twice about following until such I time comes that we begin for one reason or another to change the way we do things. Take today’s mini mission for example. My entire adult life I have always stocked white sugar, caster (baker’s) sugar, brown sugar and icing sugar in my pantry as did my mother before me. As one gets older too much of a good thing can end up on your waste line so for some time now I have been using low GI sugar in my tea, I also don’t bake sweets much any more, and recently I have started using maple syrup on my porridge (natural sugars, although still naughty, are better for you). It occurred to me last week that I have had the same canisters of white sugar and caster sugar in the pantry for a long time. The last time I bought it was purely out of habit. I have decided to free up a little space in the pantry by using up the white sugar and not restocking it. If a visitor wants white sugar they can use the caster sugar. Perhaps you keep stocking something out of habit that you really could live without.
One of the other things we do out of habit is own certain things simply because everyone else does. The idea of owning few or none of these things just seem weird somehow. Televisions are one of them, even having only one television in a household these days is unusual. As an Australian it is almost unheard of not to own a barbeque. And I know people think I am odd because my dining suite seats fewer than six people.The fact that I only own one handbag disturbs many of my female friend, and Heaven forbid that it may not match the shoes or belt I am wearing. I think you understand by now what I am trying to say here. Society is broken so why bother trying to keep up with it anyway. Do the environment a favour and march to your own drum.
These are just a few of the things we do out of habit that clutter up space in our homes. Why not spend your week questioning some of your habits, perhaps there is a better way of doing things. It is never too late to change especially when it is for the better.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter a consumable item that you don’t use much where an alternate product you also keep will suffice. Good places to find these items is in your pantry, among your cleaning supplies or your bathroom cabinet.
Today’s Declutter Item
Here is a consumable product I had too much of and the silly things is I don’t usually get lazy and do hemming the cheats way anyway. I either sew them by machine or use good old needle and thread. So why did I have so much of this, because it was cheap and I could. That simple and that foolish.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
It was another of those days today when I was grateful for my mother and the things she taught me.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast