I’m counting down the days until Minimalism May, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ve got my eyes on our bathroom cabinet, a cubbyhole in my great-grandma’s chifforobe, and, of course, my clothes closet. The closet will be a piece of cake since I adopted the lazy woman’s “rubber band” method of closet cleaning this time last year.
In spite of all these go-for-the-gold good intentions, I’m still struggling with what to do about stuff that I don’t really like (feel free to substitute “hate” for the last three words) but has what is commonly called “sentimental value” because it once belonged to someone I love.
Take the chair, for example. My mother and I rarely agreed on home decor. She loved poufy pillows, intricately carved furniture, fussy fabrics, and gilded bric-a-brac. I love stuff that’s easy to dust. The one thing we agreed on was an antique, peapod-shaped desk adorned with hand-painted roses that she bought late in life. It’s gorgeous, and I feel quite fortunate to have the desk now.
The problem was the chair she bought to go with it. I hated it. It was too big. The upholstery fabric didn’t go with the desk’s hand-painted design. It wasn’t my style at all. I could go on and on about the chair’s lack of virtues, yet for nearly five years I let it stay by the desk (too big to go under it, remember?). The desk is one of the first items you see when you walk into our house so the chair’s presence translated into nearly five years of annoyance every time I looked at the silly thing simply because I thought getting rid of it would be “disloyal.” What a dummy!
Then a couple of months ago, during one of my (in)famous furniture-rearranging fits, I “discovered” something wonderful in our guest bedroom: the perfect chair for the desk. I took the baby step of pairing this “new” chair with the desk, offering the old chair to our daughters, and having no takers, moving it to a new “temporary” location. However, the Goat and I were in the middle of a full-house frenzy, and it was easy to ignore the chair since so many other things were higgledy-piggeldy.
That ended with a phone call from the Goat’s sister, Doris. She was coming to a conference in our area, and she and her assistant needed a place to stay. In a mad rush of straightening and hiding, I shoved the chair into a closet. It would still be there if some inexplicable urge hadn’t grabbed my hand and forced it to open the closet door while my sister-in-law was in the room.
To be continued. . . .