There’s this notion that having only one of a thing is a good thing. Of course, that notion flies in the face of the adage “you can never have enough of too much of a good thing” and probably a whole host of other idioms that are not coming to my coffee-free mind as of yet.
Now that I’ve had my first sip of French Roast, I should probably amend that paragraph.
According to the common idioms of life in the US, it is very confusing as which is more beneficial: having a whole bunch of something, or having only one of them. I’m guessing the deal-breaker goes to quality over quantity. And that is the wonderful aspect of one that I’m talking about.
When Mister Soandso and I were packing up things, we got to the point where time was in shorter supply than we wanted. I refuse to get to the “black plastic bags” level of packing, so we just got more coffee and packed faster. But I swore to Mister Soandso that just because we were moving two boxes labelled “bathroom” to our apartment, I would not be moving more than one box to the new house.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been methodically combining bottles of lotions and shampoos, using up stuff and not replacing it unless there isn’t another one in my possession.
I love this notion and I’m determined to apply it to all aspects of my belongs as much as possible.
For example, I have three pairs of running shorts from back when I was much lighter and actually running. I kept the one pair that fit the best and made me look the least like a sausage with a casing malfunction. If I ever get thin enough to merit more running shorts, I’m sure the stores will still be carrying them and I can buy another pair.
All around my life, I own duplicates of stuff. Some of that makes sense such as in my underwear and sock drawer (duh). But why on earth do I need four pairs of cooking tongs? I only ever use one pair at a time. (I will part with only two, however. Just in case.)
That duplication habit? It stems from having the space to hold duplicates of stuff. Take this photo for example. This was my kitchen. For a long time, it was my favorite thing I built in the whole world, with the exception of my children, of course. This was the nicest and biggest kitchen I had ever puttered around in, making pie crusts or bread dough or meatloaf. Around the corner was the pantry – which had been the kitchen before Mister Soandso and I remodeled our house. In other words, I had plenty of space for four pairs of tongs and then some. In the pantry (before the infamous shelf collapse and all the things hitting me in the head accident) I once stored 10 pie pans, remnants of when I made the pies for my sister’s wedding. I had a crazy, awesomely organized pantry with five different types of flour, for pete’s sake. And lots and lots of canned goods because that’s what a kid who grew up living a long ways from a grocery store does…buy in bulk, just in case.
But I don’t have that kitchen and pantry anymore and I’m really okay with that.
I’m okay with it not just because I’m excited about the next chapter in Mister Soandso and the kids’ and my lives. I’m excited because this is my kitchen for the next little bit. Not quite as large. Oh, and it does have a pantry but it’s a small closet in the hallway.
Instead of being frustrated by the lack of cupboard real estate, I’m finding it liberating, in spite of having to have my blender on the countertop. (Yuck.)
It’s liberating because this kitchen is making me look at the stuff I’ve accumulated over time and pick my favorite one of everything. And the bathrooms are the same thing.
I’m looking at every bottle of lotion and taking inventory. If I never really liked that smell, or if I’ve had it for so long that now it smells bad, then I’m getting rid of it.
My towels are getting pared down. (Donate old towels to your veterinarian. They can always use them!)
I’m looking around at the stuff of my life and picking my favorite and getting rid of the rest (mostly, again, remember the tongs). And I’m teaching my kids to do it too. “If you don’t love it, don’t keep it!” is my new mantra that they are probably getting plenty sick of hearing me say.
And I have to say, this is the most freeing thing I’ve done in a long while. For a person who lives firmly in the “what if” camp, I am loving this opportunity to pick my favorite ONE and letting go of all the rest. It’s wonderful.