I'm in the middle of a calm decluttering. Calm because it's entirely voluntary. I'm conducting it strictly at my chosen pace. It's catching me some cash: I'm letting go of things by selling them on Facebook Marketplace. If something doesn't sell on Marketplace, I'll experiment with OfferUp, Nextdoor, letgo and similar. I want to know how those options function. Sometimes, a little extra income goes a long way, and I need to be able to help my clients maximize their opportunities. There is of course also consignment. I ain't a fan of holding garage sales - but yup, I shop 'em.
I've been a member of neighborhood Freecycle and Buy Nothing communities, and what doesn't sell will be gifted through those networks, or the parallel for-free avenues of the above-mentioned exchanges. Otherwise, off to to the Big G (Goodwill) it goes. So, make me some moola, clear me some space, learn something valuable for my clients, carry on in the "reduce, reuse, recycle" spirit. All good.
Here's the benefit I NEVER expected: connection.
The colossal boost of the hug someone gave me as I handed her a dragon-shaped incense burner which hadn't once breathed fire; the luminous smile a frazzled Mom gave me because my (well, my 'was') ever-so-slightly rusty French baker's rack is going to let her finally get back to a little indoor gardening, the respite she gives herself.
Tim Herrera, Editor of the Smarter Living section of the NY Times, is one of my favorite columnists. His May 13, 2019 "Invest in Your Relationships. The Payoff is Immense." in the Smarter Living Section of the NY Times is a wonderful summary of the research around our need for connection. It's also a generous pointer to a second article with a similar theme, "Why You Need a Network of Low-Stakes, Casual Friendships" by Allie Volpe, May 6, 2019, also in the Smarter Living Section of the NY Times. Which only reaffirmed my gratitude for my camaraderie with my grocery clerk. And this oh-so-maybe-self-indulgent "downsizing" feels the same.
Look for all the chances you can get to make connections. Please. And please also head to "New York photographer turns strangers into friends" for more about hugs.