Coming to a Truce with Your Stuff

It feels weird to be home amongst my things. Like any relationship in which there's been some physical distance, everything feels a little strange and awkward. I'm learning my home's quirks all over again, finding favorite dishes, wearing a favorite pair of brightly colored heels.

Every drawer, every closet, every shelf is a new discovery. Certainly, after being away from my own things for so long and making do with only a suitcase's worth of my stuff to rely on, the first thing that ran through my head was, "Wow, I have a lot of stuff!" A lot of clothes, a lot of shoes! A lot of vases! A lot of everything. Living with so few of my own things, I learned to be creative and resourceful. And it felt good to be unemcumbered.

Therein the dilemma.

It's tempting to toss everything, to clean sweep my home, bring my closets down to their most minimal level. But, while my home needs a good decluttering, complete minimalism only happens in the movies.

In real life, there is the tablecloth my grandmother embroidered that get used only at Thanksgiving; ski stuff for those yearly -- or every other yearly -- trips; that fur shrug of my mother's that I've worn once; my high school yearbooks.

So, while I've taken travel's lessons to heart -- there will be tossing, there will be donating, there will be clothing giveaways and regifting, furniture will go, pillows begone -- I'm glad I've got an extra closet.

Image: Caitlin Wylde from Caitlin Creates An Artist Retreat

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