VaseIf you’ve ever been privileged to receive flowers from a special someone, it’s possible you decided to hang onto the vase. It’s a nice vase, and I’ll probably use it again, is fairly standard reasoning. It’s an artistic vase, and it will look nice in the living room, is also fairly standard reasoning. After awhile, vases (that you never use) accumulate as a result of the aforementioned thought processes.

That’s when you know it’s time to pare down your collection. Paring down allows you to share (or otherwise get rid of) that which you do not need. By letting go of that which you do not use, there’s more room for your expressions of organizational and logistical bliss. It’s important to note that paring down a vase collection is similar to paring down a basket, yellow sweater, baseball cap, or purse collection. Different items can use the same paring down concepts. So how to  pick and choose the keepers? Perhaps the following three tips will work wonders for a vase (or other) collection near you:

1. Involve a friend or family member in the paring down process. It’s usually best to involve someone who’s straightforward and will be honest about whether something should stay or go. Bonus points if you involve someone who subscribes to the motto, “When in doubt, throw it out! [Or recycle it or give it away.]”

2. Generally speaking, do not keep it if it hasn’t been used in the past year. If you haven’t used that art deco vase in your living room in the past two years, are you really going to use it now? Or tomorrow? Or next year?

3. Be thoughtful about how you dispose of your “discarded” items. Donate your vases (or other collection items) to Goodwill or another agency. Share a beautiful vase – that’s in excellent condition – with a friend who would love it. Call a local care or residential facility and ask if they have a need for vases. Contact a local artist or school and find out if your vases could be put to use in an artistic venture.

Paring down the “stuff” in our lives helps create an atmosphere that supports a quiet mental space and allows us to savor the simplicity of stillness. An organized life isn’t about being perfect – it’s about being peaceful. And paring things down is a wonderful way to exhibit our individual versions of peaceful logistical bliss one collection of stuff at a time.

* Photo by Rui Matos

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