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Use What You Stash

Any one else out there a bit of a hoarder of anything? 

At heart I'm a minimalist, though very aware that I have more than I need. Can a person have too many books? (I don't know everything yet). Journals? (so many thoughts and sketches to jot down!). Art materials? (always fun to try new stuff, and imagine the possibilities!). Shoes? (my tootsies must be barefoot comfy; and I prefer bare feet, so I've yet to find the perfect pair). Well, ok, those are my areas where I 'stash my nuts' so to speak. I have no problem clearing out my clothing and kitchen; I don't gather makeup or cleaning products; I could easily simplify my husband's office, closets, and garage; and could also easily clean out my friends and family's overflow areas- though I might take home a few books, art materials, or journals if I found them. And useful things- I just emptied my mom's house, and brought home good furniture I don't need (will be giving it away) and cleaning materials (why let them go into a landfill unused?), toilet paper (good idea huh?), and only a few of her 'cherished' pieces that she collected over the years. 

Speaking of toilet paper: I'll admit, I have enough for several months, even before bringing home mom's. Note: I always have enough for several months. Years ago, when I couldn't afford gold, I thought if the bottom dropped out of our economy, gold may not be that helpful anyway- you can't eat it or wipe your butt with it. So, I decided to invest in toilet paper, just in case. Not gobs, but, a few cases to just stay ahead, with a little more than enough for now. 

Some say if you haven't used it in a year, you should give it away or throw it out. But, you never know. I recently took out a set of Neocolor II water soluble artist crayons that I was given as a 10-year-old while sick in bed with Scarlet Fever. I tried them a few times over the years, and wasn't sure what to do with them, but felt they were a special gift, so always stuck them back in my desk drawer. The other day I took them out and LOVED the result I got. Yes, these crayons sat for 50 years, mostly unused, and now, having improved my art skills, they're one of my new favorites.

As I sit in my newly dubbed 'artist residency' (social distancing for Covid19), I'm happy to have my supplies. There's no harm in gathering stuff, as long as it brings joy and utility and doesn't prevent others from having it or pose other hazards. Now that I've stashed enough for a rainy day (or months of virus isolation, as the case may be) I'm settling in to see what I can create from it. And slowly I'll see what I can let go of.

My inspiration for creativity today, then, is determine what you value, then stash wisely– maybe enough and a little bit more is the right amount. If you have something you've been saving, take it out, dust it off, and fool around with it. Play, experiment, and use what you have to create in a new way. And if you find stuff you're hanging on to and don't need, consider letting it go to someone who'll be delighted to have it. 

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