Growing up, my family had “the good scissors” and another pair of scissors that were highly ineffective; the latter taught me the meaning of frustration. Even as a child, I wondered why we kept this “backup” pair. They were pretty much useless. Why hang on to them?
Now, as an adult and a professional organizer, I only keep things in my home that are useful and/or bring me happiness. I’m a minimalist, so I don’t collect things just to have things. I am deliberate and thoughtful when making purchases or bringing things into my home. I have one pair of very good scissors. That’s all I need.
I share this thinking with my clients. There’s a great quote by William Morris; he says, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I love this quote. It keeps me from holding on to things “just in case.”
Housing non-useful and non-beautiful stuff in your home “just in case,” is like having a party and inviting 30 people you do not like and a few people you love. You spend your time at the party trying to get to the people you love because they inspire you and make you feel good. But in the meantime, you get stuck talking to the people who tire you out and frustrate you. They block you from enjoying what you love. They take up your time, energy, and space.
In this season of mad dashes to malls and staying out late buying stuff for our family members and friends, let’s think of Morris’s quote. Maybe we take a breath, think about those we love, and buy them something useful or something that we know that they will find beautiful. Or maybe we don’t do gifts at all this year. Maybe we try to find time to create beautiful memories with those we love. Maybe we schedule time with them doing something that we enjoy.