Twas a fine little desk… so lovingly refinished. It fit into a small space and held tons of stuff. Those little cubbies were perfect for so many things and became our billing paying station at first. Since, it’s been shuffled to every room in the house except the bathroom, and re-purposed too many times to count. Those small niches have held keys, checkbooks, envelopes, bills, leashes, gloves, scarves, even cash.
At some point, this cute piece of furniture turned into a mere fixture and I didn’t realize it. You get something you like at the time, arrange it, use it, admire it. After a while you get so used to seeing it that you don’t even notice it anymore. Ever look at the collection of notes and photos magnetized on refrigerator doors? I’m sure some adults see themselves as babies there! Times change.
A family’s changing circumstances — a different house, children, no children, pets, no pets, changing interests and tastes, etc. — means it’s useful to re-evaluate your surroundings occasionally. This goes for clothes you no longer wear, music you no longer listen to, and books you no longer read. Even junk drawers need weeding once in a while.
I’ve been in a simplifying mode for a while now and have started noticing all the stuff surrounding me that have no purpose beyond gathering dust. I didn’t use or love it anymore, but hadn’t taken the time to re-evaluate. Believe it or not this desk, as cute as it is, as useful as it WAS, had been reduced to a storage bin for spare light bulbs. Happily, it’s now been recycled into another family’s home and I’m a few bucks ahead. Win/Win.
Since this simplifying focus took possession of me, I’ve noticed how often people are clinging to possessions that no longer serve them. I hate to dust anyway, so furniture or shelves filled with objects covered in dust always catch my eye. This is especially true of older people, who haven’t changed anything in their house for 30 years. I’m never sure whether it’s because they’re attached to the past or that they just don’t notice anymore.
Of course, we all must keep the things that we love, that make our hearts sing. But other than that, simply asking myself “Do we need it?” does the trick. I’ve turned it into a game of sorts, re-evaluating what’s in every drawer, every closet, every room. The results have been liberating and feel so good that the word “obsession” comes to mind. No corner is off limits. No nook or cranny is safe. My eyes are everywhere, scanning for possibilities. Let’s see, there’s that beautiful, uncomfortable chair that no one ever sits in…
Are you collecting dust collectors?