Why you don’t need to keep everything, forever.

Perfume bottlesThis week, my quest to become clutter free led me to the top of my chest of drawers, which had become the repository of all things glamour related (that is, as much as a new mum can be glamorous, which often isn’t very glamorous at all!) Among the objects on display were a collection of perfume bottles. So far, so pretty, you might say. Only some of the weren’t. One in fact was downright ugly. So why was I keeping it? And them?

Needless to say, these decorative bottles had never actually held perfume. Rather, they had been gifts from someone who had decided one day that I should collect perfume bottles – and then each year bought me one as a present to ensure that I did. I liked them, but I didn’t actually notice they were there, or appreciate them on a daily basis. I had appreciated the gift at the time, but in some cases, that gift was given ten years ago. And that was a long time to be grateful.

This was when I realised that I didn’t need to hold on to objects forever. I had displayed them in my room for long enough. These were the questions I asked myself:

  • If there was fire, would I at once gather up my perfume bottles and save them from the flames? No.
  • Were they of value? No.
  • Did I love them? Not really. I liked them, but did I love them? No.
  • Would I miss them if they weren’t there? No
  • Had I outgrown them? Yes, there were other decorative objects that I would prefer to keep for the time being.
  • Would I appreciate the space left when they were gone? Yes!

My mind was made up and the perfume bottles were put in the charity box. My chest of drawers now looked much more tidy and soon someone else would be appreciating the bottles. I looked at like this – I was giving the gift of the bottles to somebody else and I liked that!

What items are you holding on to that have served their time?

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Categories: Clutter, Hoarding, Minimalism

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