I’m in the throws of moving, dear reader. Boxes abound, furniture relocated, clutter once entombed in closets now besieging the common spaces. Times like these, I’m grateful not to have too much.
Now confronted with a mandate to go through everything, I’m using the opportunity to get rid of as much as possible. I’ve found myself sitting cross-legged, my bottom forming an imprint on the carpet, spilling the contents of bins – passing judgment on my possessions.
The box for an old phone? No.
An expired coupon? No thank you.
One length of a distressed shoe lace? Yeah, I don’t need that.
What about all of these scraps of paper where you were brainstorming your writing? Well, I um. I think this story had some promise. And I definitely couldn’t get rid of my list of one-off sentences. But my collection of post-it notes with words I like? Maybe. You know what, no I need to keep those too.
On and on I continue to play this little game. The game of pile making. It’s easy to get started. You make a pile of things you want to keep, things you’re unsure about, and things you can remove. Players new to the game will remove the items they have set aside for that purpose, and retain all other items. Intermediate players will replay the game with the items from their unsure pile. True masters of the game can pull off the most challenging technique: play the game again with the ‘keep pile’ from the first round.
Me? I’m honing my skills and trying to play as the master would. Assessing and reassessing. Asking myself: do I really need this? Really?
More often I find the answer is no. So reduce and reduce and reduce. Until I have only what’s needed.
For all who have, or all who are, playing this little game: I hope you triumph.