First, I have to plug Flylady: http://www.flylady.net. This woman and her colleagues are both inspiring and practical. I would be having more difficulty without her work. If you're struggling with clutter, keeping organized, keeping house, or just having too much STUFF, visit her site.
Not surprisingly, I have a hard time throwing things away. This is my thinking, some of which isn't rational. For example, if I throw away a gift, I'm dissing the person who gave it to me. If I throw away something that could be utilized in some way, I am being wasteful. If I throw away memorabilia...well I'm not sure about that.
On Hoarders, you hear that people can't throw things away because they're afraid they'll forget the memory. That doesn't resonate with me. For me, this stuff is a memory jolt; I can recall details that I wouldn't otherwise. With some really irrational or magical thinking (and it is hard to confess this) I might think that the item is has some spiritual value. Ack. At least I know and admit it's irrational, but I can hardly believe I just wrote that. Maybe that's what photographs are for....but I digress.
Now about my spice rack. It's one of those racks that sit on the counter and spin, with the spice jars on the sides. It came with spices. So last night I'm emptying my cupboards and needed to set things on my counter. The dang spice rack was in the way (it's quite a small counter).
Then it occurred to me that I've had that spice rack for at least eight years and I have hardly used the spices. I keep the spices I use in the cupboard that I was trying to clear out. I thought maybe I should get rid of it. Then starts the inner dialog.
I still might want to use it some day.
That's bull, I'm not likely to use them and they're so old they're probably no good anyway.
Maybe I could use this in the studio, put beads in the spice jars.
I already have beads in spice jars and I have no place to put them.
I could donate it to Goodwill.
They probably wouldn't take foodstuff and besides, and one of the jar lids is broken so it wouldn't be complete.
This goes on and on...until finally it occurs to me that I could throw it away. I cringe.
I wish that I had recycling for wood, but I don't. I'm always happy to recycle anything I can. If I had a fireplace, I could use it as firewood. This is still a struggle.
What I finally ended up doing was dumping the spices, throwing away the lids, set the jars aside for recycling, and the wood part...I threw it away. I had to stand next to the garbage can and hold it up above it for several seconds before I could do it. This is some serious self-inflicted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I console myself by thinking that wood is biodegradable in a landfill.
All of that over a spice rack. What's it going to be like when I try to let go of my grandfather's little portable typewriter? It's at least forty years old, and wasn't a decent typewriter to begin with. But that's another post.