Leaving the Cluttered Life

Today is our last day in the old house. Our furniture and boxes are speeding toward Albuquerque. All that is left here are a few odds and ends we are taking with us, some things we need to donate, and trash we need to get rid of.

Prepping this house for sale and turnover showed me that I’ve been hoarding and that this is not a harmless quirk. It cost me time, money and put a burden on the planet that I feel ashamed of now. Plus it made moving harder than it needed to be.

But, new beginnings, right? I can start my new life in Albuquerque with new intentions and new habits. One of them will be to pursue a less wasteful lifestyle. It’s an odd time to do it since we are simultaneously renovating the new house, which will end up with a bit less square footage but more intelligently designed space. Even cut down it will have more space than the house we are leaving.

We need to buy furnishings for the new house. My impulse when faced with two possibilities that I like equally is to get both to avoid having to make that decision. But this led me to having at least two of everything in this house, which was just bananas. I clearly have internal work to do.

There is a large minimalist movement that I will learn from. My habits can be improved. I don’t have to join the Tiny House Movement to improve. I just need to act with more intentionality. So much of what I bought in the past was bought without thinking and it didn’t matter much to me when I evaluated what would we would take with us to the new place.

Preparing to move shows what is important, what it is that brings one joy. Almost none of my clothing brought me joy. Very little of our furniture (though a few pieces were intensely joy-filled). The various awards I’ve received over the years felt like clutter. But all the art brought intense joy. Just to hold each piece for a moment before we carefully packed it was a moment of bliss. So making room for art should be a priority.

Similarly, the furniture that actually brought me joy were the pieces most artistically done. We have a carved antique Chinese chair that is a particular joy to be around.

I need to stop trying to love the same things everyone else loves and pursue what I love. There is no dress in the world that I will ever love and it is hopeless to continue to pursue this doomed quest. Similarly for jewelry. None of that possesses the magic of books, art, and games.

Through the end of 2021 my intentions are minimalism, neatness, art, writing, and health. It’s a new house and a new life.

I hope you are finding your own joy in life. Be well, friends!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I have had to face this same reality lately. It’s been a difficult process as I am an anti-minimalist by nature. Moving across oceans and continents does this to ones soul…

  2. That is a much more serious weeding out process. My nature is also anti-minimalist and it is fortunate that I live with Steve who is pretty minimalist. I’m finding the process to be a sort of new birth. I hope it is for you as well!

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