Monday, July 5, 2010

The Things I Carry

I live in a small apartment. A one bedroomed flat. In many ways, if you look beyond the boring carpet and the renters' white walls, it suits me. There are ample walls for art, the kitchen is adequate, though not great, the walls are thick, so I rarely hear my neighbours.

All in all, if is a fine place to live.

But that's not my issue. It's not the box, but what is inside. I have too much. All of it (or most of it) is beautiful and lovely and means something and it takes up space and I am wondering if my things are keeping people away from me, or if I am using them to find fulfillment that should come from people and not stuff.

I've not had a dinner party at my flat and I've been here almost 4 years. That's a long time to not have people over. It's kinda creepy. I mean, I've had individuals. But I haven't cooked.

That's not me.

I have stuff. Not people. Not even a dog.

And my bags are getting heavy.

I feel heavy.

Finishing the novel I think changed me. I have accomplished something. Completed it. Round one, done. I've talked about it for decades, and now it's done. It's not earthshaking or world changing. I doubt Oprah will ever read it let alone recommend it. But I wrote it. And it is cohesive. Mostly. It needs some nips and tucks. A little weeding and propping and repotting. But it's done. And I wrote it.

So, I look at my house, and I think, I can finish this, too. Things that make me happy, and not things that ought to make me happy. There are things attached to memories, and things attached to people and things just, well, thing-ish. And it is those that need to go. No matter how good they are, valuable, heavy, weighty, important. they are taking up square-footage of my life and I don't need them.

But there's a problem. See, I am always thinking about what's round the corner. Maybe a house. A cottage. This would look fantastic on a porch. I just need to get these framed. I love to eat Tagine.

I have kitchen and housewares the way that some people have clothes that don't fit them in their closets. Too small. No longer in fashion, but one day and they're good quality. I bought this for an event I never went to. Well, one day we'll all dress up and go to the opera.

Much of it doesn't suit my life just now. I can't put shelves up in a rental. I don't have a porch. I've never made fondue. I wouldn't put cookies in the cookie jars and don't have a Welsh cupboard to display them.

So, I think, starting tomorrow, I will cull one item a day, 7 items a week, for, oh, 2 months. I'll start there. And they have to leave the house - a Goodwill Run or Friends of the Library Store trip once a week.

Who will join me in this challenge?


  1. I can undertand where you are coming from...
    I have too much STUFF, and somehow I still have to buy more!!! Shame on ME!
    Sometimes, I do understand why people prefer the minimalistic look over the crowded look!


  2. Debbie,
    I know what you mean - and let me tell you, I have pulled a dozen cooking mags, 4 china dogs, 4 planters/pots, a bracelet, a Monopoly game that I haven't even opened in... more than 10 years, some old frames - that aren't even attractive, 1 piece of furniture... I have to put my photos up of what I am decluttering.

    Thanks for your comment - Oh, and don't feel shame for liking to buy stuff - just be selective - or try the old, buy one new item and Goodwill something you haven't touched in 2 years!