I’m not much for resolutions. I rarely keep to them… I think the only one I’ve ever successfully kept was from about 1999 in which I promised myself I would always have lip balm on my person. Thanks to Calgary’s stupidly dry climate, that one had a built in pain punishment anytime I forgot. I imagine if I lived with a troll that beat me whenever I neglected to go for a run I would be much better at doing that regularly as well.

So, this isn’t as much a resolution as something I needed to do and happen to have time for right now. I am downsizing and organizing. For someone as relatively young as I am, I have an absurd amount of stuff. It’s partly the fault of my hobbies. A love of sewing has left me with stacks of patterns, bolts of fabric, and boxes of notions (not to mention a closet full of outfits suitable only for comic-con and Edwardian era balls). Soaping and lotion making has filled an entire kitchen with assorted oils and equipment. Design has given me drawers full of exacto knives, fancy pens, and expensive paper.

And then there’s just life stuff. Old homework and school projects in the closet, far too many clothes (dating back further than I’d like to admit), and a hodge-podge collection of shoes I rarely wear. My bureau is stuffed with curlers, bobby pins, and cosmetics so old I am surprised they haven’t thrown themselves out. Gifts I never liked from people I do (like, that is). Broken and worn-out stuff I’ve kept under the premise of sentimentality.

When I was in Australia a friend told me about the 100 Thing Challenge and I was very intrigued. I made a list of 100 things that I figured I needed to live, and it was actually pretty easy. Then I came back to Canada and the sheer volume of stuff already in my possession was a bit terrifying. Paring my possessions down to 100 things was easy when I was overseas, living out of a suitcase and doing just fine. But once I came home… oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I’m not shooting for 100 things. I don’t have any number in mind. I just want less. I want to get to a point where I don’t look at something and think “What on earth is this and why is it taking up space in my life?”. I don’t want the idea of packing up and moving all of my stuff to be panic-attack inducing. I want my life to feel sleek and lean. So, I guess I’m putting my possessions on a diet. So far, it’s pretty liberating.

My plan is to sort my things into one of five categories: keep, give away/Value Village, toss, recycle, and return to original owner (whoops, guess those things weren’t mine to start with). I’m also going to try and acquire less stuff. Let’s see how this goes.

What’s your resolution?

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