Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Deciding What to Keep

I'm now in my permanent home, a beautiful converted school room in an old school building. I only live here part of the year now. It's my intention that I will keep this place for a long time. It's only 700 square feet which is plenty. I keep things here that I intend to hang onto for a long time.

I think of this place as being a simple living space, but it is not minimal. It would make a minimalist blanche. I wouldn't say you were wrong if you said it was all cluttered.

Every time I arrive here for awhile I go at it, moving things around, cleaning out spaces, deciding about things to keep and things to give away. Today I went crazy with the books.

I have a lot of books. Hundreds. I love books. But I have been constantly acquiring and getting rid of books ever since I was a kid. If I still had all the books I have ever owned, I would need a whole library building for them.

I am buying a whole lot fewer physical books now since I got my iPad. This is a miracle for me. I can still have tons of books, but they take up no space.

I decided, however, that as long as I do have the shelf space for them, I can keep as many books as I have room for. I still have some books in Salt Lake, most of which will probably end up here, so I was keeping this in mind today. I know I will have to do this task again, probably more than once. That's ok. I got a pretty good start today.

I also selected out several other things to give away too. I have the biggest problem with gifts. I hate to get rid of gifts because they were gifts. But I decided that I just can't let myself be burdened long term with gifts. Everything I'm giving away now I have kept for a respectable amount of time. People probably don't even remember they gave me these things. So I am lightening my burden a bit. Here's my pile of stuff to giveaway ... so far. I will keep going all summer with the assessment of what to keep.

Today I had to catch up with reading my favorite blogs. One writer, a radical minimalist, wrote about how giving up art is a good way to go which made me wonder about my attachment to art. But then two others said things like

"If you look to the lives of others, you will always find yourself lacking. Look instead at what you have and be grateful. Reduce your needs and be content." Leo Babauta:

"I realize it's not about having as little as possible, at least not for me, it's more about owing the things that truly matter." Henri:

I know I am content here, in my cluttered place. It's full of things I find beautiful and useful. I'm just not a minimal kind of gal.

1 comment:

  1. i didn't think it was cluttered at all! and there was just the right amount of sentimental things. if you feel better by doing some spring cleaning and rearranging, then i say go for it, good for you!