As many clothes, books, and other items as I've donated or thrown away in the past couple of years, there are still too many things here that I don't need. Somehow, when one has empty drawers, shelves, closets, or floor space, items seem to drift in from all directions until everything is full again. As long as the space doesn't feel too crowded, keeping unnecessary stuff doesn't seem to be a problem. Now, all of a sudden, space is at a premium.
Over the next few weeks I'll be purging with a critical eye toward making room, getting rid of a lot of things I've kept just because I could. Things like this set of fine china my father bought me in 1965:
Thanksgiving Day Table Setting - 1978
There's a bulky copy machine I bought in 1997 when I was thinking about starting my own home-based business. It's old but it functions perfectly. I use it about once a month and don't need to use it then. Any copying needs I have these days can be handled quite capably by the three-in-one printer/scanner/copier on my desk.
There are boxes of games I no longer play because more interesting games are available online. There's a shoe-drying-rack attachment for my dryer that I've never used. On the same shelf is a fabric softener dispenser, also unused because I prefer dryer sheets. There's an unopened box of legal-sized hanging files I'll never need again, three boxes (in three different locations) of assorted wires and cables, and attachments for a vacuum cleaner I no longer own. There are non-functioning and/or obsolete electronic appliances I can't get rid of until the next annual electronics recycling day. I have tons of vinyl records, cassette tapes, and VHS tapes. A nearly finished quilt top (made by a great aunt) and three crocheted afghans (made by either my mother or my grandmother) sit in zippered plastic bags inside a drawer, where I see them only when I can't remember what's in that drawer and open it to find out. There are so many things taking up so much space, and that has to change. Now.
There are other useless things, of course, that I'm not ready to give up. One example is a round tin box full of assorted buttons I've saved over the years. My grandmother kept a button box very much like this one, and I spent hours, as a child, rearranging the colors and stringing them together with a needle and thread. There's something magical about a button box, and some kid, someday, will like mine very much.
Wish me luck, please. And focus, too; wish me that. I'm going to need a lot of both in the coming weeks.