On January 16th, the Brumbaughs visited the Mansion on O Street.  This Museum boasts more than 70 hidden doors and a collection of more than 20,000 books and other donated items.  The museum was opulent, cluttered, and very, very interesting.  Some of the museum was beautiful, I had a lot of fun exploring it, and I admired a few of the items.  But three weeks later, all I can remember is a whole lot of junk.

The feeling of being surrounded by junk stuck with me.  When I came home, I saw a few valued items cluttered by a bunch of insignificant junk.  For the past two weeks, I have been ruthlessly removing things from my life.  The things that remain are treasured gifts from family and friends, items I have used in the last year, and mementos.  So far, I’ve only made it through my drawers and surfaces, but I already feel like I’m taking my first clear breaths in years.  It’s amazing how fast things accumulate and how little I care for most of the objects littering my spaces.

Edit: I just finished going through my clothing.  What I used to own could have clothed an army:


My books will be the hardest items to part with, but if the O Street Museum taught me anything, it’s that things I consider junk are things that bring other people joy.  While I won’t ever consider my books junk, I am aware that many of them are not bringing value to my life.  I hope that by parting with them, I am contributing value to someone else’s.  I will mourn my books, but rejoice in the opportunities they represent for others.

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