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hair ties, they multiply
so many, so varied, so fun!
except, of course, by the end of her braid
I find, suddenly, I have none.

If you’ve ever been responsible for styling a squirming four year old’s hair you will understand the precarious position of finally reaching the end of the braid only to find you’ve misplaced the hair tie that will secure it!

I was chatting with my friend Jillian the other day (and by the way if you came here via her blog, Hello! Welcome!) and I asked her how she handles her girls’ hair accessories. She described the little container they use, and then talked about how now the girls actually wear what they have a lot more. As in, pile it all on and add some more to make it just a bit more fab. Being able to easily see and access what they had made a huge difference in them being able to enjoy it, and as a result those things got a lot more use.

She said, “I only want things that work hard.”  

This stuck with me as I sorted the jumbled bag of headbands (never worn), big bows (also never worn), and various other hair doodads that had accumulated. We use fuzzy hair ties for pony tails, thin elastic bands for braids, and clips to keep the wisps out of her face. I bought $3 worth of containers that nest in a very satisfying way, and have pared down to what will fit.

This question is for those things that aren’t our favorites. I’m looking at you, back of the cupboard mug that only gets used when everything else is dirty.

If an everyday item isn’t working hard, we have to think about why we still have it. It’s sometimes tough to dig down and figure out the reason. Feelings, of guilt, scarcity, or maybe just the inertia that puddles around our possessions the longer we own them. It can be an uncomfortable process to figure out what’s really behind our reluctance to let things go.

The payoff, of course, is the real pleasure we get when what we enjoy and appreciate is working hard for us. Like when everything you need to style your daughter’s hair is at your fingertips in color-coded glory.