Monday, May 30, 2011

Clutter

Image Courtesy Apartment Therapy.... how gorgeous are those books!

I subscribe to 'Zen Habits', a wonderful website about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives ...clearing the 'clutter' (physical and cerebral!) so one can focus on what is important in life. This post, from Zen Habits, on 'Decluttering' arrived in my inbox last week.... so I thought I would share it with you.

I am not a minimalist. I enjoy a few beautiful things around me in my home but I do find, for me, that living with simplicity and lack of clutter does free my mind and gives me a sense of peace.

Confession - I do love my books though and have them stashed in boxes in the shed, waiting to fill a floor to ceiling bookshelf in the next home I build.... but that's about it for me ... for serious clutter/hoarding. My lifetime keepsake box is the size of a document storage box... a few of my own academic reports, cards from my boys, their report cards, school portfolios and photos, and one little baby blue outfit that each of my boys wore as newborns.....that's it. My shed? well that's my work, and it comes and goes.... my personal clutter is meager.

Having moved so many times in the last few years, I have really pared down what I own... what I need... what I use on a daily basis.... from kitchen bits and pieces to even makeup and clothes. Even living elsewhere during the floods, and thinking I was going to lose everything, made me realise how little I really need to not only survive but to keep with me for 'aesthetic contentment'!

Have a read of Leo's post HERE. How do you view clutter? Do you see it as clutter? ... as treasures?... as a reminder of insurmountable tasks?... as happy memories? ... or as a scourge in your life?
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8 comments:

  1. A really interesting article by Leo. Got me thinking about my previous cluttering habits and the reason/s why I used to find it so hard to let go. My Mum was a fanatical hoarder and when she passed away my entire garage was literally filled with boxes and boxes of her stuff. It sat there for 2 years - I just couldn't find it within myself to let it go. When I finally gathered up the strength/courage to sort through it all I managed to condense it into one file storage box. In a strange sort of way - it allowed (or gave me permission) to "let go" of her - but still keep close by a few precious objects that would forever signify who she was. It was a very liberating moment. ;)Sharyne

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  2. I know how you feel A-M about the clutter. Moving overseas a few times and then every year that I was in uni helped me really prioritize what was worth keeping and what wasn't.

    Now that I've found a home now for longer than two years I still treat every year like I'm moving and go through closets until I've got at least two bags to donate to Goodwill. It helps keep things manageable.

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  3. I do believe I could write my own little book on decluttering having done so much of it over the years.
    I like to think I'm a minimalist at heart so I do work at keeping stuff under control. Likewise I have a couple of precious boxes I'd snatch in a fire.
    A sobering aspect against the habit of hoarding is sorting through a deceased or aged relatives possessions and then one has to wonder why as humans we collect as we do!
    xx

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  4. Thanks for your timely post A-M. I too have moved so many times that you would think I'd learn to let go? I like a minimal home and like you, only have a small number of treasures on display (but.... my cupboards and drawers are filled with things I don't need). I'm really not sure why I can't get on top of it (it would definitely free up my mind). So, after reading your post, I am dedicating today to de-clutter! We move in 4 weeks, so the time is now!!
    Jodie

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  5. Hi AM - The minute I saw the picture of the books my heart nearly stopped. I have such a soft spot for books I cant imagine ever giving them away. Saying that - living out of one tiny room has certainly made me reevaluate what you actually need to survive. Regular de-cluttering is a must at the moment ... I just cant wait till my little hoarder self can get back to normal. Im a bit like the funny creature from lord of the rings only books instead of a ring ... well duhhh, I miss being able to just run my hands over the titles and remembering just how great/funny/sad a particular book was.

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  6. I can't stand to be surrounded by clutter, & I always feel great when I get rid of stuff, though I don't like a home with nothing in it either, I like to be able to tell a bit about a person by the things they surround themselves with,there is a happy medium you just have to find it.

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  7. Oh my goodness AM, I too am just like you....all my beloved books are in boxes stored in the shed due to constantly moving, and I too, am waiting for THE day when we finally can build something(hopefully, she says, more like praying) so I can place all my precious books in a beautiful shelf where they belong...I do love the smell of old books though!!!and it's a pity that no one in my family cares for my books at all.
    Helen M

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  8. A very timely post A-M as I head back to the shed this afternoon for the third installment of the 'great unclutter' series.

    My question is 'Who should I give all of my clutter to?'
    The obvious answer I suppose is my local Salvos and I know that the saying goes that "One girls' junk is another girls' treasure' but I wonder who would treasure a box of old Gourmet Traveller magazines?

    xx F

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx