Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Quick clean

Every morning after my workout I read a magazine while I eat my Raisin Bran. Sometimes a catalog for gift ideas, but mostly magazines. Today I finished up the Pottery Barn catalog and moved to St. Louis At Home, which I get for free and which I always think I'll never read, but then I do and I'm glad I did.

Today's issue had two different articles, back to back. One was a feature on probably the largest home in the STL region, and how it's decorated for Christmas. This home is owned by the lady I used to work out with at Curves, who moves in the multiple-servants-society. Her home is so gigantic that it looks, as least from the photographs, like it's a European royal home that's been converted into a museum. Nice to look at, but so not me.

The other article was on a couple who recently downsized. Their son is all growed up and moved out, so they decided they no longer needed all the space of their house. They moved to a beautiful converted condo in the Central West End, which forced them to get rid of a bunch of their stuff. It's open and airy and simple, and, to me, absolutely gorgeous.

The woman's quote was something about getting down to the bare bones of their home, and it reminded me of something one of my old bosses used to say, "Don't keep it around unless you absolutely love it."

After breakfast I went into our bedroom to get ready for work, and I looked around. "Well, that can go. And that. And that, that, and that." In the space of about 90 seconds I recycled four items and threw away three more. The room already looks much better.

Why on earth was I hanging on to an old, empty bottle of Ellen Tracy perfume? Well, it was really expensive (a gift!) and I loved it, and I guess I thought one of these days I'd buy myself some more, and the bottle would serve as a reminder that I like Ellen Tracy perfume. Uh, no. I'm pretty sure I can remember on my own that I like Ellen Tracy perfume and don't need an empty bottle to remind me. If I haven't purchased more in three years, the bottle-as-a-reminder trick obviously isn't working. Recycle.

The Paloma Picasso perfume bottle with a quarter left, now that's a different story. I got that about 13 years ago and stopped using it about 12 years ago, which means that even if I wanted to use it now it'd probably smell pretty skunky, which is not something I typically strive for. Recycle.

Hmmm. What's this? Oh, yeah, the free sample of Clarins body scrub I received on a business conference last year. Well, it's never going to be used sitting on my vanity table, so that was relegated to the shower where it'll be tried tomorrow morning.

Oh, here are the post-operative instructions from my LASIK surgery, which are no longer necessary. Recycle.

Here's a tiny plastic elephant that came in a holiday popper pulled at a friend's house about two years ago. It's a little piece of yellow plastic crap, and it's now residing in my trash can. See ya.

And it went on from there. Good grief, it's amazing how much crap can accumulate just through daily living.

My question is, how do I keep this stuff from piling up to begin with? And when will I figure out that no matter how much crap I throw away or recycle, my suburban ranch will never, ever look like an open, airy Central West End condo?

I finally saw my first car wreath of the season this morning on the way in. It even had little mini-lights, which got me to thinking...are those battery powered? Do you have to turn on your wreath before you start driving your car? Because, to me, that alone makes it not worth it. Of course, I'm not the type of person to attach shrubberies to my car in any season so the battery issue is moot, but still. I'm a curious girl.


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