Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Degrees of Separation
Some stuff begs to be pitched or donated. Some wins the argument and remains on the shelf or in the drawer – until the next sweep. Chalk it up to degrees of separation.
I’ve learned that the longer stuff sits around, the less interesting it gets. Some items that made the cut the first time through, even survived a second survey, look useless at third glance. Because I will sell some stuff – one way or another – I’m now pitching less and storing more, but with each sweep through the condo, I’m mentally marking more stuff “Sell” instead of “Take and Treasure Forever.”
Probably this is because I’m starting to understand minimalism. That’s what happened to my friend Deb. She left this comment on an earlier blog:
“We emptied our house in the home sale frenzy. Had it painted, refused to have it "staged" professionally, and after 9 months of daily bed making, selling and giving away china, furniture, and odds and ends, then, shoving scattered, sundry items in cubbies when the house was to be shown, only to totally lose track of tax information, bills, notes with phone numbers, invitations and so much more, we removed it from the market.
“Now, our house feels more minimal and manageable.”
Speaking of manageable, yesterday I dusted. It took half the time dusting used to take, because I have almost no knickknacks on display and one-third the furniture that used to grace these rooms. Dusting was a snap! Why was I so entranced with stuff for so long?
Another friend filled a rented storage space after his divorce and headed for China for a couple of months. When he returned five years later, he opened the door to the storage space, peered in and thought, “I don’t want any of this. Why did I keep it?”
Lying in my really big bed in my really big bedroom this morning, I thought, “The next place I live will be one-third the size of this condo. I need to sift through stuff again.” A touch of fear flashed through my mind: “Wait! I don’t want to just camp in a new place; I want to make a nest! Don’t get rid of everything.”
Yet I’m already “camping” in the living and dining rooms, where 90 percent of the stuff has been cleared. The art is off the walls in every room, with a few exceptions. Forty-three boxes of books have been removed, along with two bookcases. The kitchen counters are cleared of all but the microwave, which I use all the time, and the KitchenAid mixer, which looks good.
Is this camping? No. But it is minimal and manageable, and you know – that’s really okay. And that’s the proper frame of mind for once again going through drawers and closets.