Annika was flower girl for my brother and sister-in-law's wedding, almost 2 years ago. She was absolutely gorgeous in her dress (I may be biased), and I was so proud of her that day, as she actually walked down the aisle with the ring-bearer. I wasn't expecting her to do it - I thought she'd chicken out for sure. When she made it to the end of the aisle, I was almost in tears (I was also about 2 months pregnant at the time, so I had a right to be emotional!). My little girl, who was just 2 at the time, seemed so grown up!
As much as I loved her dress, I thought it was now time to get rid of it, as it no longer fit her (even later that summer it was starting to get tight), and there was really no point to hanging onto it (other than for sentimental reasons, but I told myself that I had lots of pictures - I didn't need the actual dress to remember the day). So, I was going to sell it. I didn't want much for it, since it was actually really inexpensive to begin with. We bought it on eBay (new), and I think the shipping was more than the dress! Also, my brother and sister-in-law paid for the dress, as their gift to us. So I thought I wouldn't ask for much, but it would be nice to get it out of the closet and the few bucks I'd get for it would go for something like new shoes for Annika, or something that she actually needed. I figured if I was going to sell it, I would have to do it soon, because if I waited much longer than the styles would change and nobody would want it.
I brought it with me to the Y Neighbours sale last Saturday, and had it on display all morning. I was quite prepared to sell it. A few people showed interest, but no takers. So I brought back home and listed it on Kijiji. On Monday morning I had an email from someone who wanted to buy it. She wanted to know when she could come get it.
And suddenly, with the reality of parting with it staring me in the face...
I just couldn't do it.
I wasn't ready to get rid of it. I thought if I sold it, I would regret it one day. I would regret not being able to show it to Annika when she was older, since she may not actually remember being the flower girl. I would regret not having it to possibly pass along, if someday my brother and sister-in-law had a little girl (even if it would be just for her to play dress-up with).
So I emailed this lady back and told her that, unfortunately, it was no longer available.
So now the dress is still hanging in our closet (I took it out of Annika's closet a while ago, and she actually didn't even notice that it was gone!). I'm not quite sure what to do with it, or where to put it, but I just know that I want to keep it for now. Is this a decluttering fail? I don't think so. I think defining clutter is a very subjective thing, and we all prioritize items differently. This dress may be clutter to someone else, but I've decided that it's not clutter for me (which is maybe the problem with having a lot of storage space - you have room to be a little less discerning with what is clutter!). It's quite likely that someday Annika will look at the dress and say "Mom, why did you hang onto this thing for so long??" (I *may* have said similar words to my own mother for keeping my flower girl dress :P), and I'm not sure I'll have a decent explanation for her, but I'll know that I made the right decision at the time - a decision that I don't regret.