The Elimination Challenge
I had a brilliant idea for a blog the other day, but I'm not sure I have the guts to follow through with it (also, someone else has surely done it already).
I looked around my cluttered house and thought, what I would like to do is get rid of one thing every day for a year, and blog about it.
Oh, the first days - weeks, even - would be easy. The ill-fitting op shop skirt bought on a whim - GONE. The lumpy clay object that Alice made at kinder six years ago, gathering dust on a window sill - GONE. The manky old shampoo bottle that Evie plays with in the bath - GONE. Outgrown clothes, neglected toys, the jar of dried beans that's been in the back of the pantry for three years.
But then things might start to get a little tricky. There are books I could sacrifice. There are stuffed toys I would gladly see the back of. I could probably tip out the big fruit bowl full of accumulated crap and buy myself a month right there - scraps of wool, pencil stubs, tram tickets. But when all those easy items have been removed, what next?
What could I live without? Do I really need four vegetable peelers? Eight saucepans? A cupboard full of ancient lunchboxes and superseded drink bottles? All those frocks? All those BOOKS? Those essays from Year 10?
If I was brave enough, I'd go through every room of my house and apply the classic tests: is it useful? Is it beautiful? Do I love it for some other reason? (Because it was made by a child, or inherited from an ancestor, for example - the only possible reason for hanging onto Nana's old perfume bottle in my sock drawer.) And I wonder, at the end of it, what would be left. And I wonder how much resistance I'd meet from the rest of the family. Michael would be into it -- he's a great one for chucking out (sometimes a little too enthusiastic, if the truth be told). But the girls would HATE it.
What I really need is a catchy name for the exercise: My Year of Paring Down? The Simplification Test?
Yeah. That's what's stopping me.