Thursday, June 29, 2006

99% Shabby, 1% Chic

As part of the New Movement towards Essential Living ( a term I just invented on the spot) I've been getting rid of mass quantities of stuff that I no longer need, want, have room to store, wish to commit a lifetime to dusting or maintaining.

I like to get rid of stuff anyway, more than the average person, and certainly WAY more than the Poster Child for Hoarders should be! But I think I won't soon lose the crown, after all I'm still intending to accumulate MORE DISHES and more teapots and tea cups as time and finances allow.

But does a person really NEED 50 tablecloths?

So I ask myself these few important and life altering questions as I go along sorting through drawers and rummaging through rubbish:

Is this item ESSENTIAL to my well-being?

Is this item ESSENTIAL to the maintenance of my life or my lifestyle?

Is this item ESSENTIAL to maintaining the flow of hereditary keepsakes for the history of my family? (This question is asked in the case of things like the ratted-out and shoprag-worthy quilt that belonged to my Great Aunt Lula and was discovered discarded in a trunk in her spare bedroom and salvaged by me and used and patched and bleached totally white over 40 years.)

It is the most freeing feeling to get rid of stuff!

I am working my way through my entire place, room by room, and getting rid of non-essentials. I have a goal in mind, too. I want to make enough room so that everything in this cabinet can be put elsewhere and this cabinet can GO!

Harsh, I know. Those of you who worship at the alter of Shabby Chic are going to think I've gone totally bonkers. Rest Assured, an IKEA Yuppie has not taken possession of my body! It's just that this old thing seems to create dust from WITHIN itself, in some kind of transmutation of decaying wood particles, and I am tired of having to sneeze and wipe a cloud of dust off of myself everytime I open the doors.

So I'm going to sell it on the local craigslist and then be very happy when it is gone. Because eventually, a thing no matter how beloved, slips over the edge from shabby chic into the doomed realm of Simply Shabby. And at that point, it is no longer Essential to my well being.

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