Let's Cherish Our Keepsakes

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As Marie Kondo would say, we should keep only those things that bring us joy. There is a lot of truth to that, although we all know we have to keep such non-joyous things as old tax records. For our purposes, here, we will assume that those have been stashed in a safe place, freeing our living space to arrange as we please.

As my husband and I go through boxes, some of which have been packed up for several years, I feel like we are opening Christmas presents. I'm finding items that bring me joy, some for much of my life. An example is a tall, slender demitasse cup and saucer. I found it in a shop in the New Orleans French Quarter when I was in high school. It was the first such acquisition I ever made, and I still love it as much as I did then. Now, as we put our new home together, it is bringing me renewed joy.

We are also discarding things that we no longer need or no longer bring us joy. The charity shop and trash can are receiving quite generous donations from us, I'm happy to report. I'm giving still other things to my children and grandchildren. I even plan to sell a few items on Ebay. The advice is still wise: When sorting through, we should start four groups: Keep, Sell, Give Away, and Throw Away. In the end, we will have the treasures that bring us joy and free space for the activities we enjoy.

There's a certain danger in becoming too caught up in discarding items. We're tired of looking at them or of carting them around. We've got a burst of energy that has us pitching items in the sell, give away, and throw away boxes as fast as we can. The thing we need to remember is that, once we dispose of them, we almost never can get them back. It's like trading in a favorite car before we ask ourselves whether we can be happy without it. Marie Kondo may disagree with me, but I'd rather keep fewer boxes in the attic but be able to reach items in those boxes when I want to. As with most things, moderation seems to be the best policy.

So, let us keep those things that bring us joy. Let us remember where and how we acquired them, and let them help us turn our four walls into homes that bring us joy.