In my homeowner’s life some of the appliances purchased had the best and shiniest upgrades. As soon as the three or four ice-cube trays had been donated, the ice machine would fail. Learning, after the second time, the ice-cube trays were kept and the need for an ice machine that was temperamental vanished.
Now days, they are in use for individual cubes of pesto, or vegetable broth or organic chicken broth in addition to ice. The original or primary use for an item is good, but an item that can multi task is even better. This human discovery is at the heart of recycle, up cycle, restore, reuse or decorate- it- with -stickers -and- put -flowers- it-movement.
We know that we have too much stuff. We know that there is no need for the boxes of items in our basements or garages. Intellectually we understand the situation we are setting up for our survivors to deal with. So, what and to whom can you recycle your “treasures”. Can you make the distribution of your stuff a game to prove that you are not a horder? Don’t expect money, expect to move to lightness from excess. When you stop by an estate sale and see the hundreds of clothing items in a closet left by a deceased, I hope it makes you a bit sick to your stomach. Our affluence is to the point of being ridiculous and elders who haven’t moved from denial that they will actually leave the earth one day are part of the problem. It took us so long to accumulate, how can we give up our pretties. (See the Hobbitt)
In 1990, the psychologist, M. Scott Peck, wrote a book that was a bit of a shock to the ones of us who still considered ourselves young, or the ones who had never been to an “old folks” home. It is titled A Bed By the Window. I was in my mid forties, recently widowed, and a working professional who needed “stuff”. Up the ladder, more stuff. Larger house, more stuff. The book has an extraordinary elder character who is special.
I still recommend this book for people to wake them up with a wet towel slap across the face. A large part of being an extraordinary elder is to not be in denial. Maybe the book can help you plan your legacy and reputation as the type of ancestor every one wants on the family tree. The other book I recommend is the Velveteen Rabbit. It is a folk tale about how we become real—but not with 30 pairs of shoes in the closet.
The picture above this blog is of an iceberg—supposedly the one that the Titanic struck, but I do not want to pass along fake news. Can you imagine your paltry little ice-cube trays making a dent in that sucker? I can’t either, but I can imagine a granddaughter or daughter in law asking why in the hell did Nana have 10 ice-cube trays?
What can you jettison out of your house this weekend?