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Editor's Letter

For several weeks I’ve been watching a friend and neighbor who’s simultaneously moving, downsizing and combining two households. This has prompted a flurry of sorting every item in every closet, drawer and cabinet. And under the beds, on top of the refrigerator and anywhere else things can be stowed in a condo downtown.

She has touched everything she owns and decided its fate: keep, sell, donate or send to the landfill. I don’t think she’s following the advice given by Marie Kondo: “Does this thing bring me joy?” But she is asking: “Do I need this? Will we use this?”

Moving provides the perfect opportunity to decide what you really need. We sorted through everything we had accumulated when we downsized and moved downtown. It was both necessary and liberating.

Somehow, though, we’ve found ourselves with “possession creep.” Unless you’re vigilant, things have a way of creeping into your space one thing at a time: a new dress, an electric kettle, another piece of pottery, an Alexa and an Echo, a new Chromebook. There’s not a thing on that list I’m sorry we own, but it does drive the home the need to periodically assess what you need and what you don’t.

We’re not moving any time soon, so, perhaps inspired by the sorting frenzy going on two doors down,  I recently spent a few days going through every closet, drawer and cabinet. I touched everything except the boxes of wires and cords that Bill insists we need--a topic for another day!

Clothing and linens were dropped off at thrift stores; books were donated to the annual Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale; a few objects were placed on what we and our neighbors call the “Locust Street Free Flea Market.” It’s a section of a wall next to the garbage and recycling bins on Locust Street. Items placed there are generally picked up by passersby. If you see something you like there, feel free to take it.

It feels good to start spring with things nicely sorted and organized, but I have a feeling it won’t be long until the possession creep starts again--probably in a box marked “Amazon Prime.”


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