“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” —Chinese Proverb
Many years ago I read a wonderful book by Anne Lamott, titled Bird by Bird. While I have yet to write my own great book, I have taken to heart one shiny gem from her wisdom. She relates a story about her brother, who had a school science project to finish. He had been given plenty of time to accomplish it, but as the youthful typically do, he waited until the last minute to catalog his study of birds. Sitting at the kitchen table, distressed and overwhelmed, he asks he father how he will ever complete the task. His father replies matter-of-factly, “Bird by bird.”
This is very wise advice when you are tackling any project. But lately, it has struck me that this advice is especially apt for those who are looking at years of accumulated treasures that need to be parted with. Rightsizing at best can be an overwhelming task, but when approached bit by bit and in a timely manner it can be done successfully!
A few bird-by-bird ideas:
- Start now. Even if you are not thinking about rightsizing or moving in the near future, we all have too much stuff! Share it!
- Keep a file box with a lid close by. While searching for just that perfect scarf or blouse in the morning, take an extra minute to look at all of them: Don’t like it? In the box. Haven’t worn it in a year? In the box. Takes too long to iron? In the box! Be vigilant . . . and just a bit ruthless. When the box is full, give to your favorite charity and start a new one.
- I actually have two boxes: one for my favorite charity and one for my oldest granddaughter. She is an aspiring director, producer, and actress with many productions in play; my scarves and accessorizes have become the greatest costumes and props in her creative soon-to-be 10-year-old imagination. And we both are joyful at the reuse!!
- This technique works for shoes, the kitchen drawer full of utensils, the coat closet, the china cabinet (time to pass along Grandma’s dishes to the next generation?) . . . the list goes on.
- Books are a great treasure that needs to be shared. Go through your library, one shelf at a time, while you are waiting for dinner to bake.
This is the second entry in a new series on rightsizing.Read More