Saturday, August 11, 2007

How to lists

I forgot I was supposed to post something on "how to" lists. Why do they irritate us so? Here's how I changed my opinion on the how to list.

One reaction I used to have is that if I could do the five or eight things on the list, then I wouldn't NEED help.

True, and not true. It's all a matter of timing. I was reading a how to about clutter. I'm not a big clutterer. Not that I'm a neat freak, no way. But things around me are generally fairly ordered. I thought the article might be helpful to my clients.

There was a bit about how physical clutter sometimes reflects what's going on in your mind, i.e., psychological clutter. That's when I knew.

I started to go through all my stuff putting together all the jewelry that remained from my former marriage. Things related to the jewelry too, like little bags to travel with jewelry, little boxes in which gifts of jewelry arrived.

Other reminders I'd previously expelled from my life, but the jewelry seemed like it was mine. I'd worn it after all, some of the pieces for years. I realized as I considered that article and my relationship to these objects, that I didn't need them around me. Much as I'd loved some of the pieces, it was too similar to the way that I loved the giver. Time to go.

I'd already found someone to sell a few pieces to, but I hadn't moved on it. I took him everything. He knew what it was about having worked with both remodelers and rebuilders. Some people renovate (you know, you take the diamond ring and add it to the ruby earrings making a lovely pendant) , others tear it down and build from scratch. I'm of the rebuilding ilk. You might be a remodeler.

Either way, the decluttering felt like a weight off my shoulders that I didn't even know was there. The point about the lists being that sometimes you just get one idea from the list that works for you, that's super-helpful at that moment. So you never know what help you might get from a how to list, but they're well worth the few minutes it takes to review a few ideas.

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