Make Room

My friend, Lise, recently moved from Boston back to Los Angeles.  Just after New Year’s over scoops of Ethiopian stews wrapped in hand torn pieces of injera, she told me that it took her about a year to prepare the logistics of the move, including getting rid of her stuff. Her eyes lit up when she shared how she felt lighter and marveled at how gratifying it was to give things away. The first word that popped into my mind was “purses.”

I love purses. At the time, I guessed I owned at least 100 purses, bags, briefcases, each with their own rationale. That’s way too much rationalization to store in my house. Could I pare it down to 20 as Lise suggested? I don’t know. Thinking about it made my stomach nervous, therefore, it was something I had to do.

So I started a few days before I was ready and on my first pass, I filled a large IKEA shopping bag with 30 purses that I didn’t need, want, or use anymore. Along the way, I found $23 and a pair of earrings I thought were long lost. Lise read (and liked) my posts on Facebook and asked if I was okay.  I was surprised – it didn’t hurt a bit.

It helped to know that I was giving them to friends who would love them and the rest would be donated to another friend’s annual charity purse auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

So my challenge to you today is to look for the habits, rationalizations, and things that clutter your writing practice. Is it time to shelve a project? Are you really going to read that book again? Is it time to donate it or give it to a friend who will love it?

You already know what that one thing is. Release it so your writing is unencumbered to cross the country, maybe even see the world.


Image by Gabrielle via flickr Creative Commons

This is Day 6 of 20 of BlogHer’s NaNoBloPo Challenge for February 2015.  This month’s challenge is “Make,” check out all of these posts here.




  1. So, I have two addictions: books and bags. Some bags are for books. Some books go in bags. Sometimes the two are entirely unrelated. But, yes, books and bags are my thing. I have a room devoted entirely to books–I’m sitting in it now. And I have a closet devoted entirely to bags. It’s true. I do. And I love it!

    1. Kim – they will be so excited to receive your donation! Thank you so much for supporting the Habitat for Humanity of Frederick, Maryland! 😀

  2. I am getting ready to move at the end of the month Nd have started to question a lot of things in my life, like the two boxes from the bathroom that I have packed, yet I still have everything I need out. Books are a bit tough for me too as is my yarn fir crochet. I am actually contemplating moving into my Airstream for a few months and putting things in storage for a bit. What a timely reminder. Way to go on the downsizing !

    1. Hey, Juhli! So nice to “see” you! 😀 Thanks for your support (as always). In this first pass, I gave each purse the “really” test. I’d look at it, put it on, say, “Really?” I can’t believe how many fell to the wayside. I have a feeling this will get tougher as I go along. But it did make me look at my writing practice and what projects I’m holding on to simply because I have invested in them and wondered if I ever was going to finish them – because then they’re just sitting around as unfinished projects sapping my energy. I went through a product purse (shampoos/conditioners/styling aids) purge a few months ago. But purses, that’s kind of sacred territory – can’t remember the last time I did that. Hope your move goes well!

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