I’m grateful that my decluttering muscles have strengthened.

Years ago, I bought a pair of Hunter boots. I loved the idea of them. I wore them to a flower arranging class at a local farm, and tromped through wet fields to pick and arrange flowers. They were almost perfect for that one day.

There are plenty of wet days in the fall and spring in Minnesota – days that should be perfect for tall Hunter boots.

I still love the idea of the boots – the way they made me feel as though I live on a British country estate instead of in a suburban-ish house in a central Minnesota town. I loved the idea of walking my dog through big muddy puddles in them. I loved, loved, loved the way they looked in my closet – they had pride of place, so I saw them often.

But the truth is, I rarely wore them. I’m short. When I was actually walking around – walking the dog, or shopping in our small downtown – the tops of the boots banged against my knees in a way that felt distracting. And so even though I loved the art of them, they also served to remind me of the things I am not: tall, British-country-estate-ish, rain-boot-fashionable.

I thought about selling them, but I knew I would hate haggling over the price. I knew I would hate letting them go for money. They were in great condition, because I used them more as art than boots. So I brought them to a Goodwill, and sent them off with a blessing that they might find their way to someone who would be delighted to find them for a couple of dollars.

I couldn’t have let them go a year ago, because I would have felt guilty about how much I spent on them, and how little I had worn them – and really, how beautiful they are. So giving them away felt like an achievement unlocked. I can give away the things I do not use – even the things I probably never should have bought, even aspirational, beautiful things – and I can hope with a free heart that they bring some other person joy.