What has more buts than a locker room? Clutter – But I might need it. But Mom gave it to me. But Toddler made it. But it was expensive. But I could make something out of it. If there were no buts in this world, there would be no clutter.
Clutter overwhelms us because it is the evidence of our indecisiveness. We know – we are absolutely certain – that the moment an item leaves us, we will need it. We have many examples of this from the past, but we can never seem to recall them at the moment they would be most useful in an argument. That’s the thing about clutter. There is so much of everything that we can find nothing.
I had an especially difficult relationship with my possessions while I was deciding to divorce. I simply could not find a way to decide which one of us would be leaving, so I neither packed up nor put away anything. Now that I see that I’m not staying, I can’t decide what to bring with me. Every decision leaves a trail of others that weren’t chosen. I mourn the loss of all the lives I will never have, even as I mourn the life I wasted by not choosing sooner.
My creative solution for my indecisiveness is to live a week a month away from my hoard, not unlike my earlier test runs in the mountains and foothills of New Hampshire, trying on different lifestyles and noting what items I regret leaving behind. I hope to report my struggles and achievements here, while learning to deactivate the glitch in my brain that says I must keep my entire collection of cast iron pans, even though I only use one.