I have too much stuff. And this is the year I am going to get to know it on a very personal level.
If you saw my home you might not agree with me and I have to admit I love my home, it’s warm and cozy and many – most really – of the objects I own have some sort of special significance or I just fell madly in love with them. But I’m done collecting and storing. I’d like to think.
This year for me is going to be about living mindfully. Consciously. In every way I can without becoming some reformed fanatic and without walking away and giving up when something becomes too daunting or difficult or even boring – there’s magic in those struggles.
I have been obsessed with purging and organizing since almost forever. When I was in middle school I actually wrote down everything I owned on a notepad. Of course I only had one room to catalog. As an interior designer I used the Chinese art of placement – Feng Shui – in every application I could, and still do in my own home. I’ve read the Japanese Art of Tidying and purged over 350 books, bags of clothes and shoes, chatchkes that had lost their charm and broken plates, furniture, etc. I read Minimalism in a day while I was at my brothers and organized his house with a plan for him to finish and my suggestions.
It’s in my DNA.
So If I am always purging you’d think that, a.) I am a hoarder and therefore have an unlimited amount of things to remove from my home or b.) there’s really nothing left for me to do and I’m obsessive compulsive. There is a third option that I’ve wondered about: do I continue to purchase things so I can continue to purge? Am I perpetuating this because it makes me feel good to clean out?
This will be the test. I do not want to simply organize – although I do love that! – I want to eliminate stuff and exchange it for space and clarity.
- Catalog every item in my home. I will start with just my stuff, but eventually get to my husband’s as well. He’s part of my conundrum. While I could live simply with a few precious items, he hauls stuff in on the regular to fix, keep or sell at one of his various antique spaces. Then there is the pile(s) of “I might need this…” stuff. But we’ll address that, and him, later.
- Purge what is no longer useful or meaningful. Mindfully putting it in the best hands for what it is. Maybe even selling it to pay off that looming student loan (more on that…).
- Eat clean 90% of the time. We do this pretty well, but I want to become even more conscious of the companies and people from whom I am purchasing my food.
- Reduce my carbon footprint any way I can. Reducing the amount of plastic and paper we use, how we wash our clothes and our bodies (making conscious choices with shower products), growing some of my own food.
- Create a mammoth spreadsheet of my stuff, categorize it, tell it’s story and along the way release what I can
- Ask myself, with everything I do or bring into my home, “Is this the best choice for me, the planet, my home?” “Do I need it?”
- Reduce my trash and recycles to next to nothing.
I don’t expect to come out on the other side of this with a chair, a table and laptop only. I won’t be reducing my place settings and silverware down to two sets. But I can make some sound decisions and profound changes that will impact my overall sense of well-being, improve my health and be kinder to the planet.
Wanna play along? Comment often with questions or what you’re doing. Let’s make this a practice we do together. It’s not about making sacrifices so much as honoring your own time and energy and creating the space for an Enchanted Life.