29 July 2011
The Joy of Less
Lately, I've been telling everyone I'm on a cleaning "bender." Pops keeps telling me not to use that word. He says the connotation is specifically for drunken binges. Like a weekend of wearing one of those hard-hats with spots for two beer cans and tubing that goes straight from can to mouth. Hmmm. I could never make that work with one of my outfits.
So while I am decidedly not riding any carnival of inebriation ... I do feel rather drunk with the desire to reduce. our. stuff.
A couple of months ago, I picked up a book at the library called The Joy of Less. I've got to tell you, I found it inspiring. Sure, the author is a bit extreme. She got rid of her bedframe so she didn't need to have night-stands and could just stick a lamp and a clock on the floor by her head. Uh, yeah. I'm soooo fine with having a bedframe and night-stand.
But, peppered throughout the book were really excellent bits of wisdom. Some of them quite logical and familiar, and others shocking. Such as ... Apparently, buying more transparent bins to "organize" junk still leaves me with stacks of prettily-boxed ... junk?? You mean, spending half a paycheck on bins might not be the solution to all organizational woes and world peace? You mean if I get rid of stuff in the bins I'll have empty bins on hand? Part of my brain just exploded a little bit.
Amongst the scattered nuggets of truth, the main thing I took from the book was to be intentional about stuff. Stuff isn't bad or evil. Stuff isn't the problem. It's the hold that it can have over us that is. This resonates so deeply with me. Does my stuff make my life more full or just fully overwhelming. I'm realizing that the "stuff" I actually want to have around me really can actually fit into at least one three categories: Do I find it truly useful? Do I find it truly meaningful? Do I find it truly beautiful? Intriguing, right?
The result for me, is utter pleasure of pawing through the house ... just little manageable bits at a time ... and determining if I use, find precious, or just love an item. And if not ... it is my joy to be done with it. Liberating, I tell you.
And get this. I have not used my label-maker, bought a bin, or strapped alcohol to my head. "Bender" or not, I think I'm becoming addicted to wanting less and truly loving what I possess.
Does this resonate with you, too?