[caption id="attachment_172017" align="aligncenter" width="1180"] Image credit: Pixabay.com (2017), CC0/PD[/caption]
Sometimes, it pays to be a packrat.
On night, somewhere around day 41 of self-imposed exile, (but who’s counting?), I pulled the lid off my signature scent (a fancy way of saying my only bottle of perfume) and the nozzle came off with it. Securely wedged inside, it wouldn't budge, leaving me with a nearly full bottle and no way to spray it. It was late, so I went to bed, saddened at the thought of wasting all of that perfume. As someone who suffers from allergies, I was also sad to lose the one scent I could actually wear – a simple vanilla that smells nice, but not overpowering.
The next morning, I got up and took another look. Nope -- no miracles. Still inextricably wedged inside. I twisted the little strip of gold that remained at the top of the perfume bottle and the spray mechanism came loose.
Okay, good. I wouldn't have to waste the perfume. But where was I going to pour it? My mom used to have one of those vanity trays with the glass bottles for various fragrances, but those were long gone.
I pulled open the top drawer of my dresser and there it was.
The old bottle.
There was only a whisper of liquid left, but the most important part remained. I pulled off the lid (gently this time), unscrewed the spray mechanism and, I'm embarrassed to say, got ready to pour.
Yeah, there was an easier way. I swapped the mechanisms and returned the old bottle to the drawer, exceedingly happy about a very simple thing.
When I saved that bottle, I had no really good reason. A faint aroma still lingered, so I tucked it in my dresser drawer as a sort of glass sachet. I had no good reason to keep it and pretty much every professional organizer on the planet would have told me to toss it. But I kept it anyway and now I'm really glad I did.
Sometimes, we save things for a good reason. Other times, we just want to. We can't keep everything we've ever owned but, despite the fact that something borrowed should always be returned, something old doesn't always need to end up in the trash. (When it comes to something blue, I'll let you decide).
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Has an all-but-empty perfume bottle led me to contradict Let it Go! (The L in STYLE)? Quite the opposite, actually. Let it Go! has always been about letting go of things on your own terms. If something has meaning or use and you have room for it, keep it. If its time has passed or it's not worth the space it will take up, perhaps it is time for it to exit your home, whether via donation, yard sale or -- dare I say it? -- the trash.
Now that I think of it, I'm not sure why I tucked that old bottle back in the drawer. Habit, I guess. I think maybe it's time to go back upstairs and apply my own rules. Its usefulness has passed (it consists of a non-working mechanism atop an all-but-empty bottle of perfume) and, if no further fragrance lingers, there's really no reason to keep it. Best of all, getting rid of something old makes way for something new or, perhaps even better, yields clear space.
But that's another post.
Copyright 2020 Lisa Hess
About the Author
Transplanted Jersey girl Lisa Lawmaster Hess is the author of a blog compilation, three novels, and three non-fiction books, including the award-winning Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is an adjunct professor of psychology at York College of Pennsylvania. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.