Odds and ends

A few years ago, I accompanied one of my friends to a condo the company he worked for owned near Montreal. He traveled between Ottawa and Montreal for work. When he worked out of Montreal, he lived out of that condo. I loved that place! It had only the required furniture and accessories a person would need to live comfortably, and a few decorative pieces. He'd only have to bring his clothes and toiletries with him. There was no clutter. Everything had a place. It was such a calm space.

Last week I wrote about how I didn't know why I've kept some of the things I've kept, such as everything that's in my bin of odds and ends. So I took action and made a digital inventory of everything that was in that bin and boxed it up. I then went around the apartment looking for other odds and ends that I could add to that box. My week has been busy, so I'm not done yet. This weekend, once I'm done going around the apartment in search for other items to add, I'll seal the box and write the day's date on it.

I struggled with some of the items, like an unused bottle of black shoe polish. Mr. Romantic, who happened to be sitting next to me when I was boxing things up, talked me through it. "Do you have shoes you could use it on?" "I do, but I don't wear those shoes." He tilted his head to the side and gave me a "reprimanding" look. "But it's still full!" I replied with a grin. "Is there anyone you know that could use it?" "Yes!" So I brought it at work to give to Paul. He wears black shoes at work and they get scuffed up. He was appreciative and offered to polish my grey and turquoise running shoes... Silly Paul!

The reason I made a list of what I put in the box is because I don't want to open it unless I know for sure I'll need something in there. I don't want to be tempted with an "oh but this might come in handy some day" feeling for anything in it. It'll be easier to get rid of the remaining items if I don't open the box.

I haven't quite decided how long I'll hold on to these things yet. Maybe a month. Maybe three or six. I know everything in there would be fairly easy to replace. The Minimalists' rule of thumb is if you can replace it for under $20 within about 20 minutes from your current location, don't hold on to it.

Even though I don't want to unnecessarily hold on to these things, I'm not quite ready to let it all go so quickly. So setting a limit on how long I keep the box will help. My goal is for my home to be so streamlined that it feels like that friend's company-owned condo. I'm sure I'll get there.

P.S. - Now about those shoes I don't wear. They're simple black leather pumps. I had bought them a while ago because I figured they'd go with everything and are classier looking than my running shoes. The problem is, I have sensitive feet. I haven't broken the shoes in yet. The day I brought the shoe polish to Paul, I also brought the shoes to work where I can wear them around for a little while, mostly sitting, and hopefully they'll expand a little to better fit my feet. If I can't make them work, I'll have to reluctantly give them up also. See... my minimalism isn't perfect.


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