“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” –William Morris
I’m no packrat; in fact I’m quite the opposite. If they had a show that was the exact opposite of Hoarders that showed people living in unreasonably clean houses with organized junk drawers, I’d be the poster child. Even being as tidy as I am though, I still have a ton of stuff, especially so because I haven’t moved in a few years. I’ve been meaning to go through everything and do a major purge for a while now but just haven’t made the time. What better time than now though, at the start of a new year?
A few months ago, a friend posted a link on Facebook to this article titled, Living Better With Less. It’s a segment from the nightly news that discusses our culture’s fascination/obsession with material possessions and how some people are learning to let go of it and live with less. I’ve always been one for simple and minimal living (building a tiny house in my parents backyard is still my plan B), so the story really struck a chord with me. One of the guys that they interviewed started an online minimalist movement called the Cult of Less, and has pared down everything he owns to a mere 100 things. While half of me romanticizes the notion of radically minimizing, the other half thinks that my house would look really empty and unwelcoming, and that someday I’d regret dropping all of Grammy’s china off at the Salvation Army. So where’s the balance?
As the William Morris quote from above says, I try to only keep things in my possession that are either practical or beautiful (or sentimental) and my goal for January is to uphold that standard to everything I own. This month is my own spin on “Living Better With Less” where I’ll be getting rid of 100 things per week, rather than paring down my belongings to 100 things total. It may sound like a lot, but I managed to clear 70 things out of just my bedroom closet yesterday so I’m feeling hopeful that at the end of this month I’ll indeed be 400 things lighter.
And speaking of 100 Things, I’ve still got 100 hammers (well, 50 or so) in my bedroom that are dying to be shipped out so please let me know if you’re interested in participating.