Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lesson Learned #2 - Stuff and your heart

  I've spent many precious life hours over the last 10 years moving stuff out of my house.  
In the last year, the highway of departing clutter has become an absolute speedway.  
Here is a lesson I have learned in the process.

Lesson Learned #2

Keep the stuff that speak to your heart.

My mother was raised in a family where a Hope Chest was part of her preparation for marriage.  Knowing some of my mom's history, that hope chest probably represents a happy time for her - a time when she was preparing for marriage to my father.

 Little could she guess that happiness with my father would be in short supply.  Although my dad was a charming, handsome and loving man, he was also sick with alcoholism, and when under its influence, he was none of those things.  He died in 1970 and I have many bad memories of him, but I also have many wonderful ones.  The fact that this balance still exists so clearly in my mind ... and I still love him ... is tribute to the wonderful man he was while sober.

But mom's cedar hope chest was "born" at a time prior to that marriage.  In my mind and heart her chest represents the beautiful and smart young woman she was then - with dreams of happiness and family


During my clean out, I unearthed mom's cedar chest in her former bedroom closet.  It had been buried  under all her stuff while she lived in my home, and under all my yarn after she moved into Assisted Living.  I knew this chest needed to be out where I could enjoy it and use it.

As you can see, it has wear - and some damage - but plenty of beauty.  I feel in my heart this chest mirrors how my mom's life turned out.  Much wear, some damage, total beauty.

Because I miss my mom every single day, I want her chest to be part of my everyday life - to help me remember what a wonderfully strong and caring woman she was, how her life started out with hope, and the tarnish of her marriage didn't destroy the underlying strength of who she was.

Her chest is now open to the air and loved again but this time by her daughter.

In this marathon event of seeking to have less but enjoy what remains more ... questions remain.

  • Do I need a chest?  No.
  • Is need and function the only qualities to consider when de-cluttering your life?  No.
  • Will I use and love this piece of furniture all the days of my life?  Yes.

It stays.


  1. Yes, that precious chest stays, and one day many years from now you can pass it along to another generation.

  2. It will be useful, too. What will you put in it?

    My parents accumulated huge amounts of stuff despite the fact that they moved frequently throughout their lives. They had a hard time letting go. Now much of it is in boxes in my basement. Guess it's time to look for forgotten treasures....


    1. Well, the chest is cedar and it is in the yarn room. I am thinking of putting especially precious yarns in there for safe keeping - safe from little buggies. I have never had a moth problem before, but now that I have said this - I am doomed!! :-)

  3. What a treasure you have there and I like the analogy.
    What a blessing that you and your mom were so close. We all don't have that.

    1. We were close. She would drive me crazy at times, but I would have done anything for her. In fact, 8 years of my life were devoted to her. And I don't regret even one moment of it.

  4. What a wonderful keepsake! To me, de-cluttering doesn't include items close to the heart. They are definitely NOT clutter. I love that it looks used and loved.

  5. A beautiful chest! You are lucky to have it

  6. The fragrance of a cedar chest is so wonderful . . .
    A treasured keeper for sure!


Yes, you do want to comment! I can see it in your face:-)