The following story was sent to me by Madeleine, one of our fellow long time 365ers from Guinea in Africa. I have written of many ways to decide whether to keep or let go of items in your home but this one is unique to say the least. Without further adieu please enjoy…
A few months ago, I decided to check if I could declutter something from my kitchen, I looked at the ustensils, and asked myself : do I really use this thing ? I answered yes for everything, but a long wooden spoon. I decided not to take a quick decision, but to wait a few weeks, and see if I would use it.
Some days later, I was cooking, when I saw something moving just near my left hand. A snake ! I jumped to the roof, wanted to run away, then thought better : if I had run away, the snake could have hidden anywhere in the house, what I surely did not want. So I grabbed the first thing I could find : the wooden spoon ! I chased the snake, and I could finally stuck it between the windows and the mosquito net. Then I could breathe, take some pictures, and fetch a neighbour who came with a bush knife and killed it. You guessed : the spoon stays. It could be one of the most useful items I have in the whole house. This day, I decluttered a snake. It did not take much room in the house, but it did take a lot of room in my mind !
The Weekend Mini Missions
Saturday – Something you keep for another’s benefit. This often happens with grown children. For example Dad has a bunch of useful tools that he no longer uses but his three sons often come over to borrow them ~ In this case divvy them up between the sons and let them borrow from one another. If they don’t want to do that then feel free to sell them or give them to someone who does want them. Once again your home isn’t a storage unit or a free hiring service.
Sunday – An item you keep out of tradition that you never care to use. This might be the usual stuff like the good china and crystal but it could be like my old BBQ ~ It is almost an Aussie tradition to cook lots of BBQ meals but if you don’t you don’t need to have a BBQ just because everyone else in the neighbourhood does. This also goes for a collection of tools when you really aren’t much of an handyman or a sewing machine when you send all your clothes out to be altered or mended. (Personally, judging from the price my friend was recently quoted to have the hem sewn up on an apron, I would suggest you learn to use it and save your money but that is just my opinion.) Some of these items actually seem to double up as aspiration clutter.