In talking with my sister-in-law, the term “purge” comes up often when we talk about spaces in our homes: closets, bookshelves, drawers, etc. The word is easy to use, but the practice is much more difficult. When it comes down to it, letting go of things is not always the easiest task. Sometimes we hold onto an object for sentimental reasons. Sometimes we can’t part with something for fear that we will need it again as soon as we say goodbye. Whatever the reason, “purging” is one of those things simultaneously desired and dreaded.
I think this quote sums up an attitude that makes the process a little easier. Keep only those things that are useful or beautiful. Useful to me means an object is actually used (and appreciated when used means it will never leave me.) Beautiful is obviously a personal opinion, but beauty is also the fun part. A bright painting from your artistic days? A unique chair that you found at last year’s show? The shoes you spent too much money on to ever wear outside your house? If you know it is beautiful, keep it. Know what beauty means for you and embrace it.
The very best part of the entire process, however? Once it is done, there is more room to appreciate the things that survived the cut. Life often feels less overwhelming when our spaces and possessions are less cluttered.