I am now two thirds of my way through My Giveaway – eight months down, four to go, 244 days down, 121 to go! I have given away a lot of belongings in these months and am starting to see a real difference in the amount of clutter in the house. There are fewer little piles of things on countertops, my closet is more streamlined, cupboards and drawers are more organized, and I can find things more easily. But I still have more to give. I have a few bags of items in the back of my car. However, I don’t think those add up to many more than 20 items, which means that for the last 100 days, I am going to have to dig deep. I have given away most of the clothes, books, CDs and toys that were easiest to identify as “unnecessary.” From now on I will have to look harder and make tougher choices, giving away things that at the start of this project I might not have considered parting with. I have a feeling, though, that this might not be too difficult because the satisfaction I have been deriving from giving things away far outweighs that of owning something I never use.
I am going to be far stricter with my clothes, for example. On Sunday I wore a cute silk dress I bought a few months back. The colors were really me – black, brown and white – but it was a polka dot design, which really isn’t me at all. I have noticed that when I really love an article of clothing, shoes or piece of jewelry, someone comments on it. I have a few outfits that I want to look good in, but I know deep down they don’t quite work. Those are the ones that I’m going to get rid of now. Today it was the polka dot dress! On Sunday I had a lovely evening at the Japanese Garden in Pasadena (see August 30) and was with a lot of people I knew. I wore the polka dot dress. I wasn’t quite sure about the dress, and sure enough, not one person commented on it. So, that was a sign. It would work better on someone else. I happened to be looking out of our kitchen window this afternoon and saw our little neighbor Diana playing outside with her babysitter, Gina. Gina was one of our son Theo’s teachers in pre-school. She’s a very attractive Latina with a warm smile and lovely, curvy figure. It suddenly occurred to me the dress might look good on her. I ran down the front steps, said hi and offered her the dress. She looked surprised but said the dress was cute and suggested that if it didn’t work on her she’d give it to her niece. I left it with her and ran back upstairs to finish cooking dinner, happy for another of my belongings to be passed along until it found its right person.