This comment by Jo H and the mention of Feng Shui last week got me thinking about the aesthetics of a home. We all have our own tastes when it comes to the kinds of things we like, fabric choices, art works, furniture styles, knick knacks etc etc. However as Jo pointed out in her comment the beauty of these objects have a better chance of shining out when they aren’t so plentiful that they get lost in the clutter.
Although I only have a vague understanding of Feng Shui, and am sure some people think it is a lot of hocus pocus, I would suggest that it is worth investigating. I feel that some of the basic principals such as de-clutter every room, position furniture correctly, keep work and rest areas separate and make repairs promptly, will make any home more pleasant to live in. Homes have a feel about them whether you believe in chi (the flow of positive energy) or not. Have you ever had an area of your home that just doesn’t feel right to you and can’t put your finger on why. To another person the problem may be obvious but, because you have emotional attachment to the stuff in the room, your ability to see the problem is obscured.
I happened to visit a local antique shop this last weekend. This shop is large and jam packed with all manner of old and interesting things. So jam packed that you couldn’t possibly see even one tenth of what it has to offer in a single visit. I had come to show my husband one particular item which was right at the front door and took seconds to accomplish, however these places are so intriguing that it is fun to have a look around. The decision then had to be made whether to glance over the entire store or choose a couple of areas to look through closely. No matter what choice one makes in this situation one is always left with the feeling of missing out on something. What treasures could be hiding amongst all the clutter. Where do I look first, what might I be missing if I make the wrong choice of where to look. Even though I didn’t even wish to purchase anything I find this feeling oppressive.
Now imagine living in your home with a similar feeling every day. You believe you love and need every item in it, you wouldn’t want to part with anything because you might miss it or need it someday. However you know something about your home is making you feel on edge and you can’t put your finger on it. My guess is your need and love for all your stuff has your eyes closed to the fact that you can’t deal with it all. You spend so much time maintaining it. Or you feel guilty if you don’t. You encounter inconveniences everyday manoeuvring around and through your stuff. Be open to the idea convenience might just be worth parting with some stuff.
As always I would suggest you start decluttering the items, among the multitudes, that you love the least. But if you would like to immediately experience what it would be like with less stuff, why not do a trial separation. A practice run so to speak. You can test how much you really would miss some items when they are gone. At the same time experience how much easier maintenance can be with less stuff. Then weigh up what is really more important to you.
Find a place in your home where you can store some boxes of stuff for a while. Choose an area of your home that feels the most cluttered. Box up the items you least use and/or love and take a break from them. Leave the items in the boxes for at least a month, two or three would really give a good indication of whether you really miss them or not. At the end of the time you can either sort through the boxes to retrieve what you have decided you want or just send them as is straight to the thrift shop. If you do decide to go through the boxes don’t allow the novelty of seeing your items again cloud your judgement and have you forget the benefits of having less stuff to maintain and live with.
Today’s Mini Mission
If you have a bunch of fancy, rarely used utensils getting in the way of the useful stuff why not pare down a little.
Eco Tip for the Day
Just like yesterdays eco tip on saving fuel not idling the car, you can also practice this with your vacuum cleaner. When you are vacuuming and get sidetracked by another task turn off the vacuum, even if the other task takes little more than a few seconds. Every little bit of electricity you save is good for the environment and your energy costs.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow