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I gasp, freeze, and reach reverently for the small grey box.
I haven’t seen this for at least twenty years.
It’s Day 5 of The Great Gregory Garage Gutting, and I’m finally sorting through dozens of boxes that haven’t seen the light of day since our last move.
(Which was … <cough> … four years ago.)
I’m not going thru just any boxes. Oh no. I’m finally opening all the boxes marked “Misc. Stuff.”
Packed in desperation, each one is crammed with a psychotic disarray of our most precious belongings (which we’d saved to pack last) and chaotic clutter (which we’d refused to give up.)
It’s while slogging through the second-to-the-last “Misc. Stuff” box that I find this unexpected treasure, an item I’ve long since given up as lost and gone forever:
When the battery gave out, he gave it to me to take care of. I set it aside for that mythical moment called “When I Have More Time.” Years passed, and eventually, I realized I had no clue where it was.
Now, in a minor miracle, it’s right here.
One tiny treasure we truly value, rescued from mountains of “Misc. Stuff.”
As I look from the overflowing trash can to my tiny To Keep stack, the sickening truth hits me in the gut: the ratio of worthless to worthwhile is appalling.
We have invested so much time, energy, and money into packing and storing boxes upon boxes of “Misc. Stuff” that we haven’t have the time, energy, or money to take care of what we actually value.
This habit stops here.
I put the pocket watch in my purse and Google a local jewelry store. Later in the day, a kindly gentleman oohs and ahhhhs over the watch as he makes it shine and tick again.
And on this day, I declare an end to “Misc. Stuff” boxes once and for all.
“Misc. Stuff” boxes lure us into believing that we can “keep it all” without negative consequences.
But we can’t.
When we try to keep everything, we end up caring for nothing.
As Kathi says, “If you love it, keep it and enjoy it. If not, get rid of it and make room for the most important things in your life.”
So our family has adopted this new motto:
“We will keep only what we care for, and we will care for what we keep.”
You’re welcome to make it yours.
Did you enjoy Cheri’s post When Your Care Enough to Keep the Very Best? Cheri is doing a give-away of both Clutter Free and The Cure for the Perfect Life over on her blog. Don’t miss this chance to win these two books!
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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