I remember Christmases of my youth, when my parents would declare that really, it was pointless to get them any gifts, because they “didn’t need anything.” I thought that was two things: one, HORRIBLE not to be able to come up with anything to want; and two, an indication of old age. I now find myself in that same position, and I don’t know whether to be depressed or just give up and crawl away somewhere to die. 

I discovered this when riffling through a catalog yesterday. I just love Pottery Barn. Page after page of lovely things and creatively arranged rooms. As I browsed, I realized that I already have baskets for my magazines, plenty of meaningful accessories, four sets of dishes, more than enough mugs, and no more wall space for art. 

My God.  All my life there have been things on my list. I remember lusting after the antique inkwells in antique stores, wishing that I had enough money for matching sheets and duvets, and hoping that some day I would have a diamond ring. All accomplished. I used to want a houseful of books, and now I am gradually getting rid of the excess. 

My attic is full to the rafters with stuff that I no longer have a place for downstairs. I think there is a wicker rocker up there, and I know that there are tubs full of surplus Christmas balls, extra wool sweaters, and at least ten crocheted afghans that are still quite serviceable. 

In the basement, we are valiantly fighting the overflow. Old kitchen chairs, camping equipment, and assorted breadboxes, candlesticks and juice glasses seem to be breeding down there. I have rag rugs in the laundry room that I think my mother foisted off on me when she was trying to get rid of things. 

This is not the way I want to be! We had a discussion about this, and my husband and I have sworn to clear out the excess starting today! So I am arming myself with trash bags and going down to the lower level to begin divesting. 

I want to get rid of the broken pressure cooker, the fondue sets, the pile of curtain rods, the box of jigsaw puzzles, the fire extinguisher lamp, and the bun warmer. I plan to vacuum, line all the cat boxes up, and revel in all the wide open space down there! 

Then I am going to order some copper pots from Williams Sonoma. I feel younger already.

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