In 2005 when my niece was nine years old, she painted a coffee mug for me. My nephew was four years old when he painted one for my husband. We added the mugs made with love to dozens of other coffee mugs we had purchased and received as gifts over the years. I never thought you could have too many coffee mugs.
When we started decluttering, duplicates were the first to go. In addition to extra wooden spoons, wire whisks, clothing and sporting goods, we gave away our big coffee mug collection and only kept the two mugs from my niece and nephew. Those mugs made it through every decluttering wave over the last ten years. I finally learned that in most cases, one is enough and that I need way less than I think to be happy.
During a recent move, my favorite/only coffee mug broke. I could have gotten angry, or mourned the loss of my favorite thing and then I remembered what made it my favorite. The best thing about the mug my niece gave me is that it made me think of her. I’ll use that as inspiration to think of her and the other amazing people in my life while enjoying my morning coffee no matter what mug I’m using.
Lessons from a broken coffee mug
I replaced my favorite mug with the one pictured above. Stuff can be useful by holding our coffee, keeping us warm, or helping us stay in touch but in the end it’s always just stuff. It’s not precious, or powerful, or worth being upset about. Your stuff can’t define you or your relationships. Even your favorite stuff is just stuff. When you own less, you begin to appreciate your stuff for what it really is and can let go without regret when it’s time.