Thursday, August 19, 2010

Organization Vs. Minimalism

I own a lot of stuff. Most of it is stuff I never use. Most of it is sitting on the floor of my studio or buried away in the basement. I thought this was always how it would be. I thought I was just lazy and bad at organizing. How else could I explain why I had dozens of clear plastic bins...all of them empty.

I often sort through my stuff and try to put it into bins. In the end, I give up, set it all back on the floor and go eat a snack to smother the nagging feeling in my stomach.

Then I read this article by Chloe Adeline. She told me something quite crazy. Something I had never thought of before. Do you know what she told me I could to do with all my stuff?

Give it away.

Wait, give it away? That can't be right! What would I do if I needed something someday? Like this table or this lamp or this ball of twine or this scrap of paper or this tiny button or this ribbon from that present I got three years ago. It's all important! In the melodramatic words of Alexandre Dumas...had a thunderbolt fallen at my feet, I could not have been more stupefied.

And one second later I felt lighter than I'd ever felt. I can't believe I never thought of just giving stuff away. Like, the stuff that sits on my floor, making me feel bad, the stuff in drawers that I don't ever use, that I don't even know I have? It's all going away and I feel so FREE!!

It'll be a long process so for now I'm focusing on the stuff that I haven't touched in years. That'll be pretty easy and will get the ball rolling. I need to practice before I get to the sentimental stuff or the hobby stuff or the stuff I feel obligated to keep for strange reasons.

I've already gotten rid of many small things but the first big things are these storage drawers. They've been sitting in a closet, packed full of "important stuff" for two years. I got rid of the "important stuff" right away and now these bins are out of my house too.

I put them out on the curb where stuff magically disappears. They were gone within 30 minutes! I feel so much lighter already.

1 comment:

  1. I love the way that things with a "Free" sign disappear from my curb, too.

    I need to do a major purge.