“Do you really need six antique cameras?”, my friend, Melissa asked me one day over coffee.
“Um…yeah. Photography is my thing. I love it. The cameras show the history of it….” I trailed off.
“Couldn’t you pare down to just three?” she challenged.
Well, I did, because when I heard myself reasoning why I wanted to keep ALL of them, some old and falling apart, not as beautiful as the ones I kept, I sounded silly. So I kept three.
This week I was looking at the three of them and pared even more. These two (pictured above) are the ones I REALLY love. They are the ones that are beautiful, and show the history. The one is an accordian camera from 1945. The second is a Brownie camera, one of the first portable cameras ever made, from 1920.
The truth is, the other cameras, I collected, not so much for their beauty or the history, but because they were old cameras. I didn’t love them or need them, they were just taking up space.
If I hadn’t enlisted the help of Melissa that day, I’d probably still have the six cameras, if not even more.
The key to enlisting the help of a friend is to find a friend who is not attached to your stuff or their stuff. Melissa is great because she realizes that some things hold memories or I absolutely love, and won’t push me to part with those things, but other things she gently challenges me to go beyond the clutter and shows me how the space can be better utilized without the item there.
So before you tackling decluttering, especially things that you collect, maybe you can invite a friend over for coffee while you work. Then you can explain to your friend why each piece is important to you…and really listen to yourself as you explain it. You will know whether the item is a keeper or not, by the look in her eyes, and the words that you speak!