03 December 2007

enLIGHTening!

This weekend, I spent a lot of time decluttering the garage with the door open to enjoy the weather. I now own 12 fewer boxes of stored stuff.

My goal is to get my storage--things that I'm not using right now, but will later--down to 10 boxes, but I'll settle for 20. When I began this project a couple of years ago, I had over 120 boxes of stuff that I thought I had to keep; I'm now down to 37. It's obviously a slow process, but worthwhile.

Currently, I'm working with a few beacons in my mind. One is Seth Godin's blog entry, The Reason. I mentioned that in my last post.

Basically, I look at the stuff that I'm saving and ask myself why I thought it was such a good idea to buy/get it... and if that's still a valid reason.

In many cases, the reason why I've kept it... well, it devolved to a mindset focused on insecurity or even bitterness. Letting go of that stuff is excruciatingly difficult at times, but afterwards I feel vastly lighter... enlightened! *chuckle*

There have been other "ah-HA" moments.

Recently, HT and I were watching our DVDs of classic TV commercials. And, I was suddenly struck by the realization that I own a lot more stuff than my parents did. I'm not convinced that owning more equals greater happiness. If anything, I'd say the opposite.

I don't recall my mother ever complaining about not having enough storage space. In our compact, three-bedroom home, I can't remember storage, except for the holiday decorations, and seasonal clothing kept in the hope chest. We weren't poor... not even close. We just didn't surround ourselves with as much stuff as I do now.

A lot of this is about having too many choices. I'm realizing the importance of simplicity, and how it streamlines daily life. Frankly, when I went to a private school where we wore uniforms, I focused more on what was important (learning) than when fashion/status became a daily issue. (I could list other examples, but that's a really clear one.)

Most of my choices--the supplies that I'm weeding out--are about art. Getting myself to say, "Okay, I'm not really going to make an assemblage with that piece," is amazingly difficult. But now, when I'm looking for a particular supply for another project, I have fewer places to search. That saves me the one commodity that's not replaceable: time.

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