Friday, June 17, 2016

Downsizing. Decluttering. Uncluttering. Minimizing. Sorting. Whatever you want to call it, we're doing a lot of lately. (We've decided to call it streamlining, because that sounds cooler and more forward-moving than the other terms and suggests that we're progressive and might even distract the eye from all the stuff still piled up or packed in totes.)


This de-accessioning is partly due to winnowing my parents' possessions (55+ years of accumulated objects plus the half-century of items gathered by their parents and other relatives) ever since my father's death and my mother's move into assisted living.

The other part of the "partly" is our move into a smaller house.
I think we'd easily halve our possessions if we got rid of all our books, which I don't wish to do en masse, but I will grudgingly part with one or two...here and there...now and then. This small effort is continually undone by bringing fresh books into the house.


So, bit by bit, we open up a few square inches of space at a time.

I eked out a couple of inches this past week and forestalled occupation by future objects by taking an hour to peruse a binder full of craft pages torn from magazines. These were crafts that, presumably, I was going to create as part of hosting lovely birthday parties for my daughter, or inviting loads of friends over to my house for a party or meal, or giving beautiful gifts to loved ones, or simply to turn my house into a creative and inviting place for one and all.

I do not think I recognize the person who tore out all these instructions for would-be crafts. I do not think I share her ambition and certainly don't have the time she apparently thought she had. Or would have someday.

At any rate, I am about to send a lot of instructions into the recycle bin, and can report that the following items will never be produced by This Particular Craftswoman:


  • wire card holders formed out of radio wire
  • bookends made out of bricks
  • a bee-and-blossom toy constructed from a toilet-paper tube and pink foam
  • sea urchins made out of cut-up foam carpet padding
  • Yo-yos made out of knit gloves
  • A castle-shaped pencil holder thingy made of foam vegetable trays, foam insulation, and other stuff
  • Christmas wreath made out of 100 plastic sandwich bags
  • Dot-painted china
  • Hand-quilled greeting cards
  • Witch faces made out of pears and Oreos
  • Drawer knobs made out of polymer clay
  • Spiders made out of soldering wire and copper pot scrubbers
  • memory boxes made out of tissue boxes
  • Party invitations made out of old 45s
  • Tree branch hat racks


Among the articles I'm tossing for being (a) out of date, (b) pointless, as in "if I haven't taught my kid about this by the time she's graduated high school, there's no point, really, is there?", or (c) "Are you freaking kidding?" are these:

  • An article about family computing that's subheaded "Digital cameras are fast, versatile, easy to use--and cost a bundle. Is your family ready to forgo film?" 
  • An article about when to teach your child safety skills
  • An article called "It's Easy to Decorate a Goblet!"
  • A recipe entitled "Too Busy to Bake? Create a Pull-Apart Tower of Fun with Doughnut Holes and Frosting in No Time at All"
  • A recipe for "Hairy Daddy Longlegs Cupcakes"
  • Craft instructions called "How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Copy Center"

Sadly, all of this effort may be canceled out by having purchased a copy of "Adventures in Pompomland."