Saturday, 24 September 2016

It's Packing Time (and learning what it is I really love)

As I mentioned last time in another post, my every day off seems to be taken up by errands I can't get out of and I've been spending any free minutes on packing up much of the stuff in our open plan living and dining area as we've started refurbishing parts of our home.

As a result, this post is going to be very much about my packing/decorating agenda. To start with, only when I started packing one box after another did I realise just how far I am still from my target of having less things and more space. However packing it all up did help boost my want to minimise more for two reasons. Firstly, as Marie Kondo states in her first book about decluttering The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying it is true that unless you move things from their original position you fail to truly see how much there is and how not everything is really stuff you would want to keep once you've displaced it. Add to that, piling it up in boxes made me want to make an inventory of it all and that in turn helped me recognise what it is I truly love and what I don't want to put back on my shelves once we're all done with the painting and the rest of it. Marie Kondo advises to pick up each piece in turn to 'feel' whether it sparks joy, but with the decorative stuff that did not work for me as every time I thought of the person who'd gifted the item or why such things like frames might be useful though I don't like them or how I'd picked it out on a trip or a million other reasons why not to let it go. With the items packed out of sight and a list it turned out to be easier for me to decide. I knew offhand which items I loved so much that I immediately marked as 'to keep'. Truly, maybe I should let go of all the rest of it but maybe I'm not far enough into my journey into Minimalism to be truly comfortable with that so I am trying to at least divide it all into three sections - to keep, to give and the undecided things.

This last section will be dealt with once all the new/changed around furniture is in its final place and I can see exactly what fit and what doesn't. There is no use for decorative stuff squirrelled away behind closed cupboards so what doesn't fit must go. I have to admit that, knowing what I want our space to ultimately look like, I have already made two new purchases for the new living space and have something waiting for me in the Amazon wishlist which I am still undecided about. However these are not guilty purchases as I chose what I truly think is beautiful and as I said, other stuff is going to go. Still, the Minimalist in me keeps arguing with my heart about whether I really should have bought them. Then I look at the items, both a vintage cream colour and style and I feel like singing with the excitement of knowing they'll eventually be in my 'new' space so I know they are meant to be in my home.

Talking about purchases, Minimalism has been the culprit of many new buys for me, believe it or not, because its creed is that you should surround yourself by things that you love and to be honest, when it came to decorative stuff there wasn't too much of that, amid the mountain of things that I have packed up for now. So whilst many things, some of which (probably the majority) were gifts, that I totally don't want will be going out of the house pretty soon (to the charity shop not the landfill), I have been buying more. However, I now only buy stuff that makes my heart sing and not the things that are 'bargains' or cheap stuff to ensure I fill up the place. Actually, I don't want an overstuffed place and would rather have breathing space instead. That said, I totally love frame-filled walls.

My last point for today is, when I do buy things just because I like them rather than because I need them, I try to ensure to always let go of the similar/extra/related things that don't spark joy any more. It's not so much a one-in-one-out approach as I don't really do rules and numbers in my Minimalist choices but I do buy consciously, knowing that I would be replacing the new for the old, rather than adding to it. So for example I will be saying goodbye to all the chipped mugs that have served me well for so long when my new dining room furniture comes and I put in it the retro mugs I bought recently. Same goes for the old glassware that is pleading with me to finally let it retire in peace... they'll be out of the house (these ones to the recycling site) once I place my new multi-coloured selection in rows in the new furniture cupboard. However for now, I can only dream whilst keeping my stylish new purchases stacked inside wardrobes and on the floor all around the main bedroom whilst I slowly empty the front side of the house of all but our kitchen area and things.

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