walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Regretting Decluttering

Recently, I posted some linkfu. Somewhere in one of those posts was a pointer to a years-ago discussion raised by someone contemplating a Big Purge. The poster wanted to know if anyone had done this and regretted it, or, in a larger sense, how people felt after. Virtually no one had regretted anything, and the ones who had regrets had very, very, very marginal ones.

At breakfast with two friends the other day, I realized I was talking to two people who had been at least as many rounds of decluttering as I had -- and they each had significant regrets about specific things they had purged. Oddly, it was usually purging craft-y/decorating things that caused the problem. After reducing acres of fabric to a much smaller pile, they had each had situations arise (that could not have been predicted) that a particular purged portion of the pile would have been perfect for (and neither felt that asking someone for similar items from their as-yet-unpurged pile of craft items was an acceptable substitute).

So that was interesting. I could think of two items that I regretted getting rid of, neither did I remember _specifically_ choosing to purge, but rather that I hadn't been able to find them when I wanted them. One was a turquoise sundress that was perfect when pregnant with T. that would have been equally perfect when pregnant with A. -- but was nowhere to be found. *sigh* That still bothers me. I've never seen it again; I probably really did intentionally get rid of it, possibly because it was showing a lot of wear. But I wasn't able to find the particular style when I was pregnant the second time, which was a bummer.

The other item I was unwilling to admit to in person and am only willing to admit to now because _I JUST FOUND IT_! I didn't get rid of it at all. When I was probably in my late teens (probably either 16 and just baptized as a JW or 18 and just graduated from high school), my cousin S. gave me a very small ceramic tchotchke, and it's one of a vanishingly few items of its type which I kept. I love my cousin S. (and would love to re-connect with her, as I think she's now permanently Out of the religion, and helping a LGBT student group in the school where she is a teacher, which I find profoundly awesome in every way), but that's not why I kept the tchotchke. It's a bookshelf. It has a cat on it, which is sort of a negative, since I've never had a cat (allergies), but I do like cats, and I dearly love cats on bookshelves (Twice Sold Tales in Seattle was a lovely place to go and pet cats while looking at books and conveniently near good restaurants with full bars to appropriately set the mood). I found it in my memory/photo box along with my sister's and my clay sculptures from elementary school. I had been thinking I'd love to put that tchotchke in the curio cabinet with the spoon and a few other odds and ends, but had no idea what I'd done with it.

Which is all a very long winded way of saying, wow, I really virtually never regret the things I get rid of, and even when I do, I probably haven't.
Tags: daily activities, decluttering

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