Thursday, June 20, 2013

On the Purging of Things

I'm not sure how, but for some reason, last week I started reading Miss Minimalist's blog. I think I found it via an article about New York City's smallest apartment or something. I've always had a fascination with apartments, especially studio apartments and lofts. I'd love to have one of those big, industrial lofts with the high ceilings like you see on interior decorating websites.

Something like this, maybe? source

I could even go for something like this source

One thing you'll notice from both of these photos is a beautiful lack of clutter. 

I have always hated having clutter in my spaces, but it is so hard to avoid. One day you move into an empty place and the next, your drawers, closets, cabinets, refrigerator, freezer, garage, china hutch, under-the-bed space, vanity...are all full of stuff. It becomes oppressive. 

I've had the "luxury" of moving 6 times in the last 5 years and each time, I try to downsize a little bit. In reality, I own a lot less stuff than the average person, mostly due to moving into pre-furnished apartments. Last year I did an inventory of my things and I realized that 99% of what I own falls into the following categories: clothing, shoes, jackets, purses, kitchen- and baking-ware, and books. I own no furniture, no appliances, and just a handful of small electronics. Excluding clothing, everything I own fits into about 10 Rubbermaid totes. Of course, I would have more if I didn't currently live in my dad's apartment.

And yet, I still feel like I own too much stuff. My dad has pointed out in the past that I go on regular purges of my stuff. Finally, I connected the dots and started reading about other people who do this, too, except they have a fancy title for themselves: minimalists.

I am far from a minimalist but the idea intrigues me. I have always been obsessed with the idea on living on less in every way possible.

Miss Minimalist has, or at one point had a 10-item wardrobe including shoes, a coat, and a purse! I could never do that as between coats, purses, and shoes, I'm already close to 50 items. Most women will admit to being a "shoe girl," a "purse girl," or a "coats girl," but damn it, somehow I'm all three. And I tend to let myself have at 'er when I see something I like (which is practically everything, who are we kidding).

Miss Minimalist likes to use the phrase "just enough" and that is my aim for my possessions. My ideal situation is that I wouldn't own anything that I don't actually use. I am working on that this summer and have already gotten rid of a fair bit.

I'm also trying to take to heart the idea that possessions are just promises and that I really don't need another cardigan, or another pair of shoes, or another bottle of nice-smelling body wash. One or two of each is plenty; any more is a waste of money.

And, as much as it'll pain me, I am vowing to get rid of some of my coats, shoes, and purses. 

This may or may not have been my shoe pile until right before I started this blog post...and this may or may not just be a small sample of my shoe collection.

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