I’m pretty sure I was supposed to tidy up jewelry along with clothes, but um…I didn’t. It started to bother me that this was the most non-tidy part of getting dressed. Yet I put it off again and again. I thought sorting through my jewelry would be really tough because my Mom makes lovely jewelry, and almost all of the earrings I own are ones that she made.
That makes this category kind of overlap into the “Sentimental” items, which is the very LAST thing I will be tidying.
All my earrings were just piled in a pretty box, favorite necklaces dropped in an even smaller spot-almost ALWAYS tangled. DO YOU KNOW HOW ANNOYING IT IS TO BE IN A RUSH AND TRYING TO UNTIE A KNOT IN THE TINIEST NECKLACE CHAIN ON THE PLANET?
Once I got started, it was easier than I thought. One of the perks of only keeping what sparks joy is that you re-discover things that do, in fact, spark joy, but have been hidden under stuff that doesn’t. (Insert comment about all the embarrassing private Celine Dion concerts I’ve had in the car since tidying CDs).
So magical surprise #1: re-discovering favorite jewelry pieces (and the power of luurrrrrvvveeeee; thanks, Celine!).
Many months ago, fueled by a pinterest-induced crafting frenzy, I created a jewelry storage board out of an old cork board I’d had since college. But weirdly, I only kept jewelry that I didn’t really wear on it. The stuff that I wear all the time was (not so neatly) stuffed in containers near the bathroom sink.
As I began to arrange ALL the jewelry I decided to keep on my nifty board (minus rings
and stud earrings), I stumbled across magical surprise #2: ONCE AGAIN, everything I decided to keep fit PERFECTLY. This notion that there is a perfect amount of stuff in each category for each individual, and you’ll know when you’ve hit that number still surprises me, even on my 5th (or whatever) tidying session.
With items like CDs, DVDs, books, papers, and now jewelry, I’ve hit that number. I am likely to go through clothes again; I still think I have too much (even though it all fits in my closet the way I wanted it to!)
It’s a little embarrassing how light and happy I feel choosing accessories now. It’s sooooo much easier now; the board is filled with jewelry I love and I can pretty much see all my options at a glance.
I kept a few other things that didn’t make sense to put on the board.
And you know what else I did? I called my Mom and let her know what I was doing, made sure her feelings wouldn’t be hurt and offered to give her back the jewelry I wasn’t wearing anymore. I think this was one of the cool things about this tidying session; that it gave me an excuse (not that I really NEED one) to reach out to my Mom and let her know I appreciate her! And of course, I made sure she knew that 90% of the earrings I kept are those that she’s made for me. 🙂
It is also nice to know that the stuff I am not using will go to a good cause; my Mom volunteers with an organization called Rainbow Village. She created and designed a “boutique” for the women served by Rainbow Village, and jewelry is one of the items she stocks in the boutique. I know at the end of the day, we both want the beautiful things she’s made to be happily in use by someone who will wear them.
I read somewhere that a “downside” of pursuing minimalism is that in your pursuit of less stuff, you’re focused entirely on stuff. I mean, I guess that’s true in a sense…but it’s also kind of silly. Yes, I am “focusing” on my stuff each time I tidy a category of things and decide what to keep and what brings me joy. I suppose there is a selfishness inherent in that.
But I’m also cultivating this overwhelming sense of gratitude and thankfulness. With each bag or box that goes out the door to places like Goodwill or the used book store, or Rainbow Village, I’m thinking about how wonderful it is that someone other than me will have the chance to really love or use something that I don’t.
There is no end to the ways in which God can use things, circumstances and people to
change lives. Maybe a book that holds no special meaning for me will end up in the possession of one whose life it will change. Maybe my Mom will give that pair of earrings I wasn’t wearing to a woman who needs a little dose of confidence to get through a job interview as she starts a new life for herself.
Take time to be thankful for what you have, and marvel at the possibilities when you let go of what you don’t need.