Mies van der Rohe – a man to be revered said: “Less is More.” Knew of what he spoke.
Small spaces demand a type of discipline that I have learned to practice – one in – one out, one in – one out. I shudder to think of the hoarding lifestyle. Wading through plastic bags filled with all manner of who knows what, fanatically collecting Cabbage Patch Dolls, trinkets and baubles. It gives me shivers. I slide to the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m a serial purger. That’s right. I love getting rid of things. I have rules that I follow religiously and holidays I celebrate not for their legal designation, but for the opportunity to evacuate and release.
I know it’s an obsessive compulsive disorder of sorts. I look forward to reaching the bottom of the bottle of shampoo or jar of cream – just for the opportunity to throw it away. I never save the extra heal savers they give me along with the Louboutin’s and don’t give that shoe box another thought – I don’t care how many photos you’ve seen with the boxes neatly lining the shelves of a closet, perfect Polaroid picture affixed to the end.
Who in the heck wants the inconvenience of pulling the shoes out of the box every time you want to wear them. It’s impractical and encourages bad collecting behavior. I forbid it – throw them away! Rant over, this post is meant to be helpfully encouraging you to take stock. As someone with her eye always on the next nest, I am ever cognizant of the challenges that moving pose. It is commonly referenced as one of the top 10 stressors in life. I know this and preemptively prepare to travel light.
My very favorite holiday to take stock and toss, is New Year’s Day. Nothing is open, and I always feel a little blue after the festivities of the night before – nothing lifts a mood like sorting through clothing you long forgot you even owned, and making careful piles for donation, sale at Second Time Around or some similar consignment shop. If sadly they aren’t up to snuff for either….then to the bin they go! It feels good to know you’ve helped another, potentially put a few coins in your pocket and/or freed up a little space for that new handbag you’ve been eyeing. This exercise can be very subjective, so let me help those of you who have difficulty giving things up –
if you have not worn the garment in the last season for which it was intended…..lose it.
Spring cleaning can be traced back to many cultures and tied to religious beliefs. The Iranians, it is thought, were the first to celebrate their new year – March 21 – which lasts two weeks, with a thorough cleaning of everything in the house. Known as the “shaking of the house” this cleaning was necessary in order to welcome in the new year. I love the idea of “shaking the house”. Court Yard Hounds
got it right when they said: “Your winter is nothing but a prison” – that’s New England. When Spring comes its time to throw open those windows and throw the clutter out – if not with wild abandon, at least with an eye toward a fresh start.
A few additional tips to get you started:
– Magazines: I love them too. Enjoy revisiting them, and take the opportunity to tear the pages worth saving out, and put them in binders. If you are feeling really organized, create tabs and categorize the contents: paint colors, sofas, side tables, beds,…you get the picture,
– Books: I am a reader, and they can really stack up, many I will never read again. Donate: Rosie’s Place in Boston, a really wonderful organization in support of woman accepts books, – assuage your guilt and give,
– Anything you have multiples of that aren’t true collectors items: say avoir.
It will put a spring in your step…ah, and that’s what this is all about.