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‘Less is more.’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

08 Jul

shoe addictI was looking for something in my wardrobe the other day when it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t bought a new pair of shoes in months and months and months. Now this may not seem like a big thing to you lovely readers out there, but this realisation was somewhat of a watershed moment for me.  Did I actually need to buy a new pair of shoes over the last few months—absolutely not.  I know for a fact there are shoes in my wardrobe right now that have hardly ever been worn.  But, if I’m being really honest here, when it comes to shoes (and, sigh, handbags) ‘need’ never really came into it.

(Shoes, handbags and puppies—you can never have too many—that was my mantra—although I hasten to add I was always much more responsible when it came to the puppies . . .)

toomuchstuffSo why such a watershed moment?  A couple of years ago it began to dawn on me that I had far too many possessions for just one person.  (I swear the foundations of the house were starting to sag.)  I had (literally) hundreds and hundreds of books, and although I loved them all, some (most) of them had not been cracked opened in years.  I also had drawers full of cds I never listened to, dvds I never watched, boxes full of arty stuff I never used (okay glad I saved that as, yay, am using it now) and wardrobes stuffed with old or unused linen, clothes, shoes, and enough handbags to start my own store.  Not to mention all manner of odd broken bits and pieces that had started to gather together in the garage, along with bucket loads of ‘I-won’t-throw-that-away-just-yet-as-I-might-need-it-later’ stuff.  I was starting to suffocate under the weight of it all.

cleaning outAnd then I came across The Minimalists —two young guys writing about how to live a great life with less stuff. The answer to all my prayers—right?  Well—yes and no.  Although I have always liked the sound of minimalism, and I love the philosophy behind it—I also know that I really like a lot of my stuff too.  Owning less than 100 things was never really going to be a viable option for me.  But the more I read the more I came to realise that it did not have to be an all-or-nothing thing—there could be a happy medium—and over the next couple of years I made slow but serious inroads into divesting myself of a lot of my extraneous stuff.

dogdig1I gave most of my books to Rotary and even managed to not buy more to replace them.  (Well, not ‘proper’ books anyway.  My Kindle now needs two hands to lift it but it doesn’t take up any more space than it ever did.)  I cleared out wardrobes and drawers and gave away bags and bags of clothing (and, yes, even shoes), linen, crockery, ornaments and the like to the local Op Shops.  I’ve thrown away boxes full of ‘WTF did I hang on to that for’ paraphernalia, and even (Sssshhhh—not so loud) managed to bin some of the oldest,  most decrepit (and smelliest) doggie toys without them being missed (Maudie probably still thinks they are hidden in her ‘special place’ in the back yard . . . )

tinyhouseDid I miss any of the stuff I got rid of?  Maybe.  For about a minute.  Out of sight out of mind.  In fact I was happily surprised at how much I didn’t miss it.  That doesn’t mean, of course, that I wasn’t tempted to buy more thingsold habits die hard (and there are so many pretty shoes out there) so before I start to sound all holier-than-thou, let me assure that if I was to try to move into a tiny house today, I would possibly the only one alive towing a tiny house, two garages and a garden shed . . . .

work-progress-post-14479087So, still very much a work in progress and that’s okay.  Little by slow works for me.  I have had a couple of days off work this week and have used some of that time to do a bit more clearing out (it feels a bit like spring cleaning, but it can’t be that ‘cos it’s freezing outside) and I am still finding myself constantly surprised at how much I can look at and say ‘I wonder why I didn’t get rid of that before?’  (Could it possibly be because the local council only sees fit to provide us with teeny-tiny rubbish bins and then only allows the bin-men to come and empty said teeny-tiny bins once a fortnight? Mmmmm . . . )

Anyway, I have decided that ‘Less is More’ is my new mantra (although . . . the puppies . . . sigh )  Whether or not I will be able to stick to that for the long haul it is anybody’s guess, but I have started and hope to go on.  I know I will be sorely tested later today as my friend Pammy and I are going down to Forster for a day’s shopping—and I do still love to shop.

Perhaps it will be okay if I only buy teeny-tiny things that will fit in my future teeny-tiny house . . .

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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7 responses to “‘Less is more.’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

  1. C. C. Cedras

    July 8, 2016 at 8:49 am

    😆 hahahahaha! As I sit, there are more than 100 things within a 10 ft radius of me. Sigh.

    ” if I was to try to move into a tiny house today, I would possibly the only one alive towing a tiny house, two garages and a garden shed . . . .” MEEE TOOO!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • sallyinthehaven

      July 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

      It’s nice to know I am not alone. 🙂 And, I wonder in the ‘100’ things means 100 things for every person/creature in the house? Technically, that should mean that I would be allowed 400 things . . . I might have to do some more research.

      Liked by 2 people

       
  2. stevetalbot51

    July 10, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Nice post Sal, we always have spare space in our red bin if you want to bring some of your junk around here – we need to use teamwork to counteract the Council’s small bin strategy.
    When we (eventually) move house it will be a “forced de-clutterisation” scenario – and we will have to tackle it room by room I think.
    Until then we will no doubt continue to have the garage and all our storage space full of stuff.
    It would be interesting to work out the ratio of “useful stuff” to “waste of space” but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon 🙂

    Like

     
    • sallyinthehaven

      July 11, 2016 at 7:38 am

      Might just have to take you up on the red bin offer one of these days . . .

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. Pam Talbot

    July 10, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    You know I feel quite proud Sal that we didn’t buy lots more “stuff” on our shopping day – ok just a little “stuff” but we didn’t get into a buying frenzy like previous shopping trips. Maybe we’re finally learning a thing or two?!?!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • sallyinthehaven

      July 11, 2016 at 7:37 am

      I know! We did good – we probably ate more than we should have but hey – one thing at a time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

       

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