Every January, and a couple other times a year (because I accumulate "stuff" like dog hair on a wool coat) I purge my house of the unwanted, the unneeded and the homeless (see above- stuff, not people). By purge I mean that I thank my tired, under-appreciated items for their loving service and release them back to the universe (Discard box of doom) - Anyone? Anyone? (Google: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) I am a hopeless mess maker and the only way I can find joy in my home's appearance is by owning as little as I can manage. Two people love/hate me. The Amazon delivery minion and the man/angel that regularly picks up my box of donated- formerly delivered by amazon- goods and carries them off into the sunset. It's a battle for the ages. My husband, though, is a natural minimalist. Aside from his love of innovative technology the man needs nothing. When we got married he owned MAYBE three pairs of shoes. Dress shoes, soccer shoes, and a pair of sandals he made out of old tires and leather cords while living in the slums of Honduras. His dream is to fit everything he owns in a suitcase. So maybe marrying a sterile van dwelling hippie would have been a good idea for him. He married me instead and got 5 bouncing baby debris-factories. But... NEWSFLASH!!! We are downsizing. Like by more than 3000 sf downsizing. We live in a super cute downtown area in which you can find 700 sf bungalows next to 5000+ sf homes. We just bought a house somewhere in the middle only 3 doors down. I will still have access to my studio, definitely keeping my dog, and after some deliberation have decided on keeping all of the children. I am getting rid of a lot of extras but thinking about what I can tastefully fit into my new abode is giving me a real chance to think about what I keep around me and why. The stuff I keep isn't free. I have learned that having a big house is expensive. Not just in utilities but in time. I'm over it. I'm keeping close what deserves preservation. I can tell you most of what I am keeping is not battery operated, is not made of plastic and was not purchased from an end cap or infomercial. It is not waiting to be fixed, waiting to be noticed, or sticking around because I feel guilty putting it in the box of doom. My one fear is that one day I'll be sitting in a rocking chair next to my great grandchildren and they will ask to see an actual girl scout cookie selling patch from the 1990's. I will shake my head remorsefully wishing that I had spent the last 80 years storing my Brownie sash just for this one shining moment. (Not really) Everyone needs a deathbed regret though... So, "Thank you for your service cookie patch. It's been real."