If Heaven had a flavor ... it would be coffee.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Box

Just a moment ago I was sitting here staring at this blank screen wondering what I would write.  Then I remembered that there was a box sitting in my living room, pulled from an old attic of mine that I had yet to open.  Upon opening I pulled out a letter addressed to my older sister from a close cousin of ours.  There were three more after that one, from her.  There was a letter that I wrote to another cousin of mine - never sent.  Letters and poems from my best friend in grade school.  Poetry I'd written, pictures I'd drawn, Letters to Santa.  Boy, have I been smiling!  I did not know these still existed. 

I'm excited to see what else the box brings, but it's age and it's home for the past 30 years is causing my asthma to rear its ugly head. The time of day is making my eyes heavy, so I will continue with the box tomorrow.  This now confirms to me, what I should do with the pictures and poems, and miscellaneous writings of my children's - keep them.  I will put in storage their childhood musings, one box only for each child, no more - for them to find in an attic one day.  This discovery is fun, and I can't stop smiling.            
Moving from a house to an apartment can quickly teach you to hold on to only that which is most important to you; to keep only that which is used and enjoyed.  I have learned to purge, and decorate only with objects I absolutely love.  I've decided to sell my tea cups.  A collection I've added to for 20 years, but have no good way to display.  I'd have to clean them frequently and I'd rather spend my time in a good book or with friends on a patio somewhere.  Tea cups also break. This one was one of my favorites, and broke just this morning.  I'll treasure the memory though, of when it was given to me.  It was given by a man that later became my husband.  Our marriage has since broken also, but at one time, like the teacup, was intact. Things break. Maybe I'll hold on to just a few of my favorites to use with a small group of girlfriends and have them over for crupets.  Yes, I am English...they will be crumpets.
I can't seem to part with any of my books just yet, so I've put up more bookcases.  Down came most of the pictures, and up went artwork that I admire.  Gone are all the various candles of different shapes and sizes and only one displays itself on my mantle - a golden shimmery elegant one that I love.

Less is more.  Don't make room for clutter.  It takes very little time to clean a home that has only the essentials,  and items you use regularly.  With the clutter gone, you will be free to have more time to do that which you really enjoy. For me, it's time with family and friends, time to cultivate deeper friendships, learning to cook a mean quiche, and time to blog. 

A clutter-free, organized life ripples out into many unexpected areas as well, and the result is a much happier and productive life. Use an organizer that has all your important dates in it, dr. appointments, grocery lists, gift ideas, even lists of things you don't want to forget to google. (that is my longest list!)  In the "box" I found a list that my dad and mom kept of things they needed to get done at the farm.  I must have learned from them. 

Over time, organize your closets with sturdy, decorative boxes and matching hangers, as well as shoe shelves.  Have only kitchen storage containers that are glass with matching lids!  Plastic gets discolored, and it makes grabbing leftovers for lunch a breeze!  My furniture is the color of salt so I can change the color scheme with the simple change of pillows, and not have to think about whether the color is out of style or if I'm bored!  My dishes are white so whatever I prepare looks lovely against it.   :)  


Take your time and declutter, then add that which you love, only.  I work long and hard during the week so I can relax and play on the weekends without guilt.  Make your home a place of relaxation.  Do one room at a time.  Remember to throw away that which you do not use.  Memories are in the heart and mind, not in the object.  If it helps - take a picture of it, then give the item away. 

What will I do with the box's contents?  I will read each paper deliberately and with pure pleasure, then send some off to my cousins and childhood friends,  put a few into each of my children's boxes, and toss the rest.  The feelings are in my heart.                                                                               

Old letters.  Future generations will not have them, now that there is email and Facebook.  People will not find old letters in attics that have gone yellow and stir up feelings from long ago.  I used to save my weekly allowance to buy pretty stationary and stamps.  I can still see the red gravel under my shoes as I trecked the long driveway to the mailbox each Saturday to drop off my week's musings, and with hope of finding a letter addressed to me, preferably on pretty stationary.   Pen Pals were a great source of joy for me as well.  It gave me an excuse to buy more stationary.

I am glad I came upon this old box of mine.  The writings will forever be preserved in photos and in blog, and now I can send them off for someone else to hold and smile.                                                                                                                                     


  1. That was beautiful! And, so very true. I need to take your advice and unclutter my life! You are so right about letter writing... no one takes the time any more for a hand written letter. Email and texting is so much faster. How sad. Older generations miss it and younger generations don't know what they're missing!

  2. This really touched me. We all have these boxes and what we do with them depends on our state of mind or where we are in our lives. There is something about old letters...they tell so much. I was in an antique shop with my parents a few years back and found myself engrossed in a basket of old letters. While my mother was busy hunting for things to add to her various collections I was quite content with the stories & day to day activities of strangers. Who knows what we will do with our boxes - I like what you did with yours. Somebody's ended up at an antique store.