Here’s my new favorite sign. Yesterday I hung it at the bottom of my basement steps so that every time I go downstairs to do laundry or take care of the cat, it will be the first thing I see.
It seems to me that when we were young and first starting out—new careers, new marriage, new house, new life—that we were pretty intent on accumulating. The list of stuff that we thought we wanted and needed was long. We whittled away at the list as we could afford it—appliances, furniture, clothing, leisure time toys, home décor, etc. Our goal was to add to our collection of belongings.
However, for me, a funny thing is happening on the way to old age: I want to get rid of about 50 percent of what it took me the first two-thirds of my life to accumulate. It could even be as high as 90 percent.
Here’s what I’m discovering:
1. The more “stuff” I have around me, the more stressed I feel.
2. The less “stuff” I have around me, the calmer I feel.
3. Everything should have a place to be put away.
4. If I don’t wear it, donate it.
5. If I don’t use it, sell it.
6. If I don’t like it, throw it.
7. If I don’t need it, give it to someone who does.
8. A quiet, minimal environment makes me feel peaceful.
9. A cluttered environment with too much “stuff” makes me feel agitated.
Okay, so I’ll never make it on the cover of Home Beautiful, but I also seem to be missing that gene that causes old ladies to hoard cats or save twisty ties from bread bags. Thank goodness. It could have gone either way.