I haven’t been to an estate sale in months.
I get the emails and page through the pictures of what’s for sale, but not much appeals to me. It seems that these days I’m more interested in editing the contents of my house and my life than adding to them.
This isn’t a new phase.
Years ago, my daughter Lindsey gave me a piece of word art that said simplify. She’s a thoughtful gift giver and the piece suited me perfectly. It was a three dimensional word attached to a base, and it sat on top of the cabinet in my office for forever, until – predictably – I donated it during a decluttering session.
So I’ve always been a simplifier, but lately the urge has been strong.
Big Brothers Big Sisters comes through our neighborhood once or twice a month to pick up donations, and on the days they’re due to arrive I’ve been covering my porch with boxes and bags of stuff for them to take: margarita glasses, throw pillows, capri pants, craft supplies.
And I’ve been simplifying in other ways too.
I’ve let magazine subscriptions lapse. I look for those tiny unsubscribe links at the bottom of emails. I deleted my entire Pinterest board called Projects, because I’ve lost the desire to spray paint mason jars or make pumpkins out of book pages.
And we’ve finally decided to get rid of our landline. I’m going to take care of that when I go into the cable company’s office, because I want to simplify our cable package too.
This all sounds pretty drastic, but it’s actually been freeing. So freeing.
William Morris famously said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
To me, that is just about the perfect sentiment. I think of it often – daily even – as I look at the contents of a closet, a drawer, or even my calendar, and ask, “what no longer works for me?”
By letting go of those things, I’m free to enjoy what stays that much more. I feel lighter, energized, more focused.
I know I’ll go back to an estate sale eventually. After all, I’m a simplifier, not a minimalist. But I don’t think I’ll go as often as I once did, and this latest round of letting go has inspired me to think differently about what I’ll bring home.
An interesting piece of art? Yes. A good book? Always. But they’re still just things, and when I no longer find them useful or beautiful, there is gratification and fulfillment in letting them go to someone who will.
How about you? Do you ever feel the urge to simplify?