I read the article admiringly, and then came to my three-story, double-porch, big-on-storage place on North Caicos. It's not the largest house on the island, but it's plenty big. To add to the irony, one of my chores this trip is to clean out the garage/storage space on the lower level. I'm renting a truck for the trips to the dump.
Now, I'm no hoarder, but you know how things just accumulate in our lives. We seem to collect enough stuff to fill up whatever space we occupy. (Didn't George Carlin do a routine about that?) And we don't weed through the collections until it's necessary.
So there's a lot of talk about downsizing and doing with less. I'm certainly all for that, as I'm as guilty as the next person of having too much stuff.
Take the kitchen, for example. Over the years I ended up with a complete set of Revere ware, plus Teflon skillets of various sizes, several soup pots and the Crock Pot, rice cooker, sandwich grill and gadgets galore. It's all here at Aloe House.
When we went into the Richmond apartment, I bought only those items I use on a regular basis. And you know what? It works. I don't need a wok to make stir-fry, I can do a grilled cheese sandwich in my skillet, and the Dutch oven suffices for soup. The only hard part about such downsizing is avoiding the impulse to buy the specialty item just because you can, and it's cool.
The downsizing thing works with the writing, too. No, let's make that: Downsizing works with writing, too. Writers love words, sometimes to a fault. We obsess over accurate descriptions and end up writing, "He seemed to fancy himself a child of the '70s, with his striped Speedos, chunky watch and gold chairs mingling with black chest hair," when any intelligent reader would get the picture well enough with, "He was Mr. 1975: big watch, tiny swimsuit and a chestful of chains." That's one of the reasons why we all need editors.
How many times have you watched a movie that was about 15 minutes too long, eaten a whole sundae that would have pleased you in five bites, told the one-more joke that offended, paid more for the phone feature you never use or planted too much zucchini?
It's a lesson for all of us: Don't fall in love with your stuff.