I must reduce my footprint, the space in my home, and life in which possessions contribute nil to sustaining the momentum required in achieving my goals. Marie Kondo’s series on Netflix, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” acquainted me with the basics, and like her clients featured on the show, the emotions we attach to our possessions present obstacles to jettisoning, without remorse, the accumulation of stuff we’ve acquired over the years. I confess sharing traits with packrats, but I intend to keep my mind focused during the process of decluttering. I will have to overcome the emotionalisms of sentimentality, nostalgia, and falsehoods from thinking, ‘I may need that’ for something. Oh, dear, this ain’t gonna be easy.

I’ve decided whether I stay rooted in my home or sell and bug out, I need to declutter my life of items that occupy space in my house and in my head that conflict with mission objectives. I must soldier on and defeat the enemy: junk. Sell, donate, and trash comprises the categories of possessions that fail protocol, the rules of engagement that govern the disposition of essentials versus clutter.

My mother’s piano is an item of sentimentality that requires sensitivity in what I do with it because of its history. When ten years old, I witnessed my mother deciding to find work so she could buy a piano and learn how to play. My father could have bought it for her, but she wanted to procure it her way with her money. I believe she would approve if I bequeathed it to a church in her memory. The task of donating it depends on me residing in the house. As long as I am living here, mom’s piano has a place in my home. In my mind’s eye, I see her seated at the bench tickling the ivories.

Collectibles and artifacts representing my Japanese ancestry— paintings, plates, pottery, furnishings—shall remain with me in life, for they connect me to my Japanese heritage. Japan is my birth country, and I can not deny the fact that the blood of the rising Sun runs through my veins. America is my home, and my father encouraged me to find balance in the duality of my two heritages. I inherited his collection of country music records, which is my go-to music for reconciling my emotions with the ups and downs of experiencing the human condition. Hank Williams and his contemporaries will stay with me until the Sun sets in the west for the last time.

If I downsize into a house with lessor floorspace, I’ll take my tools and shop equipment with me. I need to give my hands what they need to make things. My dad told me idle hands endangers the mind, and that’s an attitude I can respect for life.

I’ve identified the items of significance for retention, the remaining items need reviewing according to protocol. I made progress today, but the list is daunting.