As I put away Christmas this year, I’m asking that question about everything from twinkle lights (yes) to broken candles (not really. But do they make this kind anymore?). We’ve celebrated our last merry & bright season in this little house, and I’m rather sad. I’m always sad to leave a house. I feel like Mother Beaver when they had to abandon the den to escape the White Witch. I wonder if we can manage to bring along the sewing machine.

(Don’t worry, Dear Reader, we are not running from an evil witch. Just moving closer to our family, which is a wonderful thing. But still, bring the machine or not?)

My wise and handsome husband always reminds me that we are taking along everything that matters. Because none of it is earth stuff. I know he is right. But, as I prepare to downsize even more than the last time, I still pause over every little smushed snowman face and ask the famous Kondo question: “Does this spark joy?”

Right now, I’m looking at everything spread out across my office floor. There is no real criteria for what sparks and what doesn’t. In the end, I think it must be the stories attached to the things. And, Wendell is right, we will always have the stories even if we leave behind the things.

So, I’m still checking for joy. But, I’m also waking my practical side and measuring how many totes will really fit into the back side of the new under-the-staircase closet.

Because the front of the closet is being reserved for a reading nook for the grandchildren. Oh! We can hang the twinkle lights in there!

Cue the Joy!