I have made a decision. I have decided to throw ten things away each day for thirty days. That’s 300 things. I hope to surpass ten things some days, but vow to find at least ten. Yesterday, it was easy. Among the treasures I have been hoarding, an expired and no longer active credit card, a red sweater I bought ten years ago but haven’t worn for the last seven, a mold of my teeth before I started having a million bite problems, and one girl’s pink sock that I was unable to find the match to until, get this, I threw the one I did have out. Isn’t that always how it happens?
In case you think I am a person with a lot of possessions, that’s really not the case. I have a very reasonable (most women would say pitiful) amount of shoes. I own a fair amount of clothes, but nothing impressive. I don’t have any real collectibles, a lot of make-up or jewelry. My extra baggage is really just stuff. Useless stuff. Things I never wear anymore, but think, maybe next winter. Or a shirt I bought and thought I loved, but have never worn because every time I put it on it just doesn’t seem to look right. The suit I interviewed in for jobs I wanted…oh my goodness, fifteen years ago! Instruction manuals for items I don’t own anymore. Pay stubs for jobs that I haven’t had for eight years. Nail polishes that probably dried up twenty years ago. A mouthguard that I don’t wear. Keys for houses that we don’t own…I think you get my point.
I’m sure there’s a good reason I have every note that I ever passed in seventh grade, it’s just that the reason eludes me, and it has now for about a year. Which means there is no reason. And I don’t know if it is laziness or sentimentality or some sort of weird compulsion that keeps me hanging onto a remote control for a tv we no longer have, but it doesn’t really matter, does it? The fact is is that it’s time for change. The problem with change, though, is that it is never easy.
This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt this way. I used to be able to live, breathe and work productively surrounded by clutter. I’m pretty sure I still can. This difference now is that I don’t want to. I don’t know what has caused this change, but for the past year I have been slowly marching down the path of lightening my load. I’ve been donating clothes, baby items (which were hard to part with), and throwing out toys with missing or unworking parts, and yet still, I have closets and drawers of garbage. But never one to be deterred, I will continue on my journey, making small changes, like ten things a day, that will hopefully lead to bigger ones.