Taking up space

In “The Sound of Music”, Julie Andrews sang “These are a few of my favourite things” and the song became a classic. But you know, if Julie had been singing about ALL her favourite things...she’d still be singing!

Funny isn’t it, the stuff we collect? No finger-pointing or name-calling, just some interesting observations we’ve made after years of helping people simplify their lives.

One person we worked with had a collection of turkey wishbones, stored in a paper bag in the basement and numbering 21 in total. When I asked her if she wanted to make a wish, her comment was, “It’s too late to make a wish.” Of course, I told her it was never too late to make a wish to which she replied, “Well, it is for me!” She had been collecting wishbones for years and had never wished on any one of them.

Another person collected hamburger wrappers. Tucked neatly on a kitchen shelf, she had a pileof papersabout 4” high. Every day she would go out for lunch, enjoy a burger or what-ever, and carefully fold the paper wrapper and bring it home. Once at home, she would wipe off any traces of her lunch–mustard, relish, tartar sauce–and iron the wrapper and add it to the ever-growing pile. For someone who had grown up in the Depression, hers was a collection of things that “could come in handy someday”.

The other day, I was visiting a friend and on the top shelf in her laundry room, there was an old box of cigarettes. “Yes,” she admitted, “this was the last package of cigarettes my husband bought before he quit smoking for good in 1968.” And to think she has been holding on to them for ages.

Over the years, we’ve seen boxes labeled “pieces of string too short to keep”, balls of tin foil saved for the war effort, out-of-control margarine tub collections, more linen tea towels than you could ever imagine, boxes of souvenir matchbooks and postcards... well, you get the idea!

The big question is... What’s taking up space at your house?

Are you holding on to real treasures or just some bits and pieces of stuff you have acquired along the way? You just might be surprised at the amount of space you have if you stop squirreling away stuff you don’t want, use or need!

                                                                          Lighten-up and let it go!

Karen Shinn

Karen Shinn

Downsizing Diva Co-Founder. Toronto East & North York

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