clutter and relief

Being now motivated to clean – and dispose of all the random stuff making our end of year “Goodwill run”, I rediscovered the remnant of a charcoal drawing created by Edwin Howland Blashfield. It had originally been in a sea chest (used for children’s toys) that I discovered during my childhood in Massachusetts. It was framed, possibly displayed but it eventually went into a closet. When mother died it came back to me again. Years later, I discover it again. And it now is only a fragment – from the neck up. Probably time to go into the trash. It is like this with dozens of things in my home and garage. A cabinet of random objects and papers I keep to possibly remind me of some long-ago adventure. This week I spent an hour going through dusty books to donate.

a fragment of charcoal drawing, attrib to E. H. Blashfield (d. 1948)

I have some misplaced sentimentality for tools. I buy a tool for a job that I think I might tackle. It gets used one time, or generally put away as I employ someone to do the task. I have dozens of tools like this in the last twenty years. Not sentimentality, but absent-mindedness, when, testing the Christmas outdoor ornaments a week ago, I inadvertently knocked over a bottle of used automotive oil. I’ve been taking the cars to the mechanic for such service since last Spring. While cleaning up , I found a lot of things to go to the “Goodwill”.

I should take a lesson from Dexter and Comet. They treasure their dog beds. As long as they are in good repair, I will wash the coverings and then they use them again – and again. As for dog toys – Dexter will treasure a toy for a week, ten days, a few months. And then shred the thing and leave stuffing all over the living room. And the toy is done. Out in the trash.

“We all have a million things vying for our attention. If you tell yourself that you don’t have enough time to clear out your junk, you might be delaying the well-being and relief you could experience by tackling it. If not now, when?”

Lisa J. Shultz, Lighter Living: Declutter. Organize. Simplify. (

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