“There was pie plant in the garden; she must make a couple of pies.” ~~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, The First Four YearsA useful mantra for the frugal is "what do I have that I can use, instead of thinking that I need something else?" As the DHM famously put it, "what's in your hand?" Sometimes we forget that one reason for decluttering is so we can appreciate the things we do keep.
What books do you already have on the shelf? Have you read the ones you downloaded to your Kindle app last year, or the year before? I just finished one of my long-time Kindle-sitters, at 10,000 feet, because the crossword puzzle book I'd brought was excruciatingly boring, and the Wi-Fi wasn't free. Of course looking out the window at the clouds was free, but I wasn't right by a window, and where I could sort of see out, people kept closing the shades. So, the downloaded books came in handy.
What do you have in your jewelry box? I have a necklace with a green pendant, that Mr. Fixit gave me some time ago. I cleaned out my box this spring, got rid of the non-keepers, put a few special but unwearable things away, and that left the things I liked but hadn't been wearing, like the green necklace. So now it's where I can grab it easily and put it on.
What do you have hidden in your china cupboard? A pottery dish? Candles? Fancy bowls? We are paper napkin users, by and large, although we do have a stash of homemade cloth napkins we use as well. Sometimes the stack of paper napkins sits right on the kitchen table, which is not attractive. Sometimes they sit in a basket, which is better. Today I pulled out a vintage tin box my dad gave me (like this one), and slipped the napkins into that, just for a change. Better to use things than to hide them away.
What's in the closet? What are your three favourite shirts or dresses or hats or shoes to wear in the summer? Summer is short, at least where we live, so wear them lots and enjoy them. (Like Christmas things that you see or eat or sing one month out of the year: put the other things aside and make the most of the holidays.)
I just finished one other book, one that the Apprentice loaned me. In the story, one character has a special celebration, and two other people decide to commemorate it by giving him a baseball card of his favourite player ever, Yutaka Enatsu. This is not easy (especially in pre-Internet days), because the man already owns most of the early Enatsu cards, but for reasons too complicated to explain here, he lives somewhat in the past and would be very sad if he found out that Enatsu was later traded to another team. The searchers do, through a few strokes of luck, come up with a card that fits the bill, and the giving and the receiving is everything they hoped for. One little coloured piece of cardboard, but chosen with love, and treasured.
Enjoy your small treasures for the smiles they give.