Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Minimalist Michelle, One Month Later

I announced I was becoming a (relative) minimalist, having some stuff, but only what I love, want, and use. Even with getting into it, I'm still not going very far, but I have made impressive progress since this post one month ago today.

A week into it, I donated 21 books, which you can read more about in this update. I donated them quickly and don't miss 'em. I added two cheap white vases and "the Kiki vase" in the empty spaces of my bookshelves and I am very pleased with the visual result. The white contrasts nicely with the black-brown finish. I've been liking white a lot for awhile now and have been considering white vases for years actually. White is nice for a refreshing start, right? I hope to upgrade my bookshelves from the Ikea Expedit to the Target Avington Collection someday...

I also donated a medium-sized box (like 16"x14"x14" or something like that...) full to the top with stuff. Stuff I liked, but didn't love. I mostly pulled from the stuff lying around my living space than the things packed away in closets for use in my next apartment. I actually have a hard time remembering all the random items that went in... I said "good bye" to several garden gnomes, not the cutest of them though. I suppose I trashed some things as well, like some small trinkets I had sitting in front of my books for example.

Overall, the book The Joy of Less helped me out, I highly recommend it to anyone considering living with less. The author thinks that surrounding yourself with only the items you love and appreciate is living gracefully. I love that idea! ...and it serves as major motivation. In addition, I try to remember that I am not what I own. As a former student of Art History, I want things to symbolize parts of me (and almost to impress others with all my interests), but just because I don't have the souvenir anymore for example, doesn't mean I haven't been to the place nor does it take away the memories. I can still tell people about my amazing trip without the visual reminder. I need to keep the big picture in mind. In fact, she actually tells you to close your eyes and imagine the perfect room, which of course is uncluttered, and only showcases the best pieces (in their own breathing room), not making the room look like a quirky corner of a flea market. I refer to this minimalism bible less and less now for motivation and guidance. The author is right... it does get easier over time.

My second medium-sized box is more than halfway full now. I have some DVDs and a couple of handbags (one "Prada" off the street in Italy and another with the tags still on) among other random items. I'll probably fill the box, but am unsure how much more decluttering I can do on this scale. I didn't have loads of stuff to begin with! However, I know I can stick with the 'one in, one out' rule.

I like the space I'm getting. The items I love are more prominent. What I like most about the earned space is that the room's closer to the ideal picture in my mind, closer to how I wanna live, with sophistication.

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