Let’s simplify this pile together. You don’t have to make any decisions. Just be here with me. This one’s a tough one and I could really use the company and moral support.
I just pulled out my last stashed pile of stuff to simplify (besides papers). It’s all “meaningless” stuff.
Then why can’t I just toss it? — Because it’s not so meaningless to me. That’s what makes it challenging. Everything I have set before me on the bed has some meaning to me.
The black sock and the gray sock hold the meaning of hope for finding their pair. This is how a conversation to myself goes when working to decide their fate:
“If I cannot find their pair, then I could use them for cleaning. Then again, I rarely ever use socks for cleaning or dusting… although I should. Maybe cleaning and dusting with socks could be a new habit. But where would I keep the socks? And what would I keep them with? But, wait! I use a sponge for cleaning, even furniture. OK, no cleaning socks then. Back to their original purpose. Will I find their mates? Perhaps not, but both of them can be used as backups for my other pairs of socks. OK, they stay.”
Having arrived at a solution that resonates with my soul, I dutifully fold the non-partnered socks together and place them in the transparent, zippered bag I use for socks.
CONSOLIDATING WHAT’S OBVIOUS
Moving on to the next matter. Cotton balls. First aid. I consolidate them into one ziplock bag, along with the small bottle of alcohol. But wait. Bag too small. Go get 1 liter bag. Got it. Now I remember I have similar stuff randomly tossed into the inner zippered compartment of suitcase #1. I pull it all out and unite it with my pile.
FIRST AID AND MEDICINAL THEME
I then notice that many things in front of me carry a similar theme: first aid and medicinal. I then separate out everything that doesn’t seem to carry this theme. (Where did I put that mini-sewing kit?) Discover another white sock. Place it with the other singles. Place cotton balls, pads and alcohol in one-liter bag. Also insert clear ziplock bag containing emergency meds (like painkillers and antibiotics). A white washcloth in it’s own bag, along with tabs that, when wet, expand into cloths. A small bag of baking soda. Wipes, a small bag of herbal teas. Mentisan, an imported product with a eucalyptus base that I use for infections. I seal the bag, confirming that this is a weak first aid kit. Still, it is a beginning and it is all consolidated. Having consolidated my first aid items, I can now see more clearly in order to smartly build on it and gather more skills in this area. I place the bag in what will be suitcase #2. Breath of relief and satisfaction.
Now the rest of the pile looks much more manageable. Onward. The items in front of me share a cleaning them. “ACE”, a cleaning powder that I used overseas for clothes, dishes and most everything else, is waiting for its fate. Should I keep it, knowing that it has chemicals? (The only place I still use chemicals is with washing dishes. I use whatever liquid detergent is set out.) The chemical dilemma. I question myself: “Will baking soda and vinegar cover all my cleaning needs?” I decide to risk it, confident that if they don’t, I can research and find new solutions. ACE gets tossed. The container of baking soda with the screw-on lid remains. (I use baking soda for washing clothes and cleaning the bathroom, among other things.)
Baking soda; sponges bagged individually; two recycled toothbrushes and a re-purposed nail brush for scrubbing (bagged together); and more expandable cloth tabs all go into a 1-liter ziplock bag and are also placed into “suitcase #2” (which is presently a duffle bag).
OK, really great progress. That’s enough for today. (Did I actually just say that?) Today the pile was reduced by about half. It’s a big deal. What remains will wait. I remind myself to be grateful for the progress and not beat myself up for what remains to be processed.
I really appreciate you being with me through this process. It made it so much easier, so much more doable.
Thank you and the best of valor and strength to you in your next simplicity endeavor.
“Simplify Your Life: I have less shoes, cloth, things”, by Tim Schaefer. A simple, 1:18 -minute, no-fluff message that resonates with me. You can tell this guy lives it.