The Goodwill Project: Following my own ‘mom preach’ advice

“If you bring home shopping bags, fill them with clothes or other items you no longer need or want for donation before you put the new stuff away.”

That was just one “mom preach” of mine that worked a small portion of the time. The concept is a good one, though, especially if you happen to be living in a filled-to-the-brim home that is now bigger than you need and yet you can’t resist the thrill of the hunt in this game you’ve dredged up called The Goodwill Project.

Perhaps my attempt at “Fulfillment in the Time of Corona,” The Goodwill Project is proving to work for me. I’m having a lot of fun perusing through junk and energizing my life with the spoils. I justify it with something I call “conscientious editing.”

It’s simple: Identify that which you don’t love or has run its course, and replace it with something you do. Conscientious editing can work in reverse, too: Find something you love, and take away something you don’t.

I found this charming little piece of original art likely painted by someone in a country I’ll never get a chance to visit. A brightly colored agrarian scene, its canvas looks to be a reed or dried leaf of some kind. It had been crookedly mounted on a piece of cardboard and placed in an all-wrong gold frame. I snatched it up at the Goodwill near Perimeter Mall for $2.99.

I brought it home and switched out the frame to one I had in a closet and headed to the room in my house with the brightest colors: the bathroom off the laundry room. It’s small and it’s covered with things I love and with things I didn’t even realize I didn’t.

A quick perusal and I hit upon a set of three iron insect things that had been hanging over the hand towel ring for longer than I can remember. They were cool enough when I hung them there, but a heedful look with Marie Kondo eyes and I realized they were bringing me no pleasure at all.

I popped them off the wall, pulled out the bottom two nails and hung my new piece of art on the top nail. Now I smile at it every time I wash my hands in that bathroom.

And the iron insect things are in a bag in my trunk to drop off at my next visit on the Goodwill circuit. Right next to the all-wrong gold frame.

Conscientious editing makes this spot much more pleasant to me now. (Disregard that messy paint blotch on the wall. I forgot what happened there, but I’ve chosen to keep it as a reminder of that flaws can be beautiful too. Especially when you don’t want to repaint.)

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