I’ll Keep the Fondue Pot

What’s that? my son asked.

Remember cassettes?

The kid knows how to work the DVD player and my smart phone (he’s four). He sees us pop CDs to play tunes in the car, and he requests rock and roll on the IPod. But until today, he had never seen the old-school tape or a tape player. I’d unearthed a bunch of tapes I kept from high school, “mixes” of random 80s and early 90s stuff and classic rock. Pretty bad mixes, actually, but I don’t have the heart to trash ‘em (yet). What I’ll do is keep them in a shoebox or piled by the CDs in the basement for a few more months and then in a fit of de-cluttering, toss then in a big bag meant for Goodwill or the rubbish pile.

See? I know this about myself, my tendency to keep stuff for nostalgic purpose. Sweet memories. And yet, this tendency prevents me from my forever goal of de-cluttering – it’s more than a goal! It’s a vision of rooms filled with…. nothing! No stuff! No toys! No raincoats and rain boots and soccer balls and tiny plastic dinosaurs! No pens, no batteries, no scissors, no take out menus in the junk drawer! No receipts, no tissues, no cell phone chargers in the basket meant for mail or in my purse!

A home with a few key pieces of well-worn furniture on which we read our favorite books and gaze around an unadorned living space. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

If I got rid of two items in my house every day for the rest of the month, that would be a total of 60 items. I am absolutely convinced there are 60 items in this house that go un- or underused, and may be greatly appreciated by someone else. I will identify and relocate these items during the next four weeks as part of my goal to live intentionally.

Living with intention is so important and yet so hard. Recently, however, a friend gave me a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Inspired, I looked up quotes by Thoreau, and I read this.

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”

Thoreau’s words energize and inspire me to consciously de-clutter our home.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to give away everything in the back of the kitchen cabinet or all the stuff gathering dust in the basement. That fondue pot that I pull out maybe once a year? Well, it was a wedding present and I love that fondue pot! But it is underutilized, and this doesn’t bode well for its place in my vision of an uncluttered home.

The simple solution: make more fondue.

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