Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interesting Question

No photo's today, just thoughts, I want you to be able to visualize today....

Should my space dictate how much I keep?  I have been thinking about this question a lot this morning while sorting through things that are not junk, not trash, not clutter but objects we own that are nice.  

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of tiny houses.  I have blogged about them before here Exploring Alternative Homes and we built a tiny house that was made to be a playhouse for our children.

When I think of moving to a tiny house, which we are mind shifts in it's thinking and I immediately see right through the unnecessary things we own, and straight to what would be absolutely necessary, dual purpose, and beautiful.  I think about what would create a home that is cozy but uncrowded.  Could I do it?  Live in a tiny house?  Absolutely!  With my family too? hmmm, I don't know :) ....these guys are very used to creature comforts, however, given the right design I could see it.  We have discussed it, and yes if the circumstances had been different I'm sure instead of remodeling, we would be building a tiny house for our family or another form of alternative home. 

So, why when I think about moving to a house with a larger footprint, does the answer to my question change?  Why is it that when I think about moving to our new home do I contemplate keeping things until I know how much space we have?  Why can't I see right through everything to what is necessary and get rid of everything else whether I have room or not?  I find that I can rationally justify selling and donating everything I do not have room to bring if I were to move into a tiny house and be fine with my decision because it is backed by a solid reason, outwardly it makes perfect sense to reduce your belongings if you are moving into a smaller space.  People do it all the time when they downsize.

I am downsizing my belongings while moving up in house size.  This goes against the norm, reducing belongings no longer are justified because of space.  I am taking a stance against the stuff and things that have slowly came into our lives, I put my hands on my hips and look at it, and wonder where on earth it all came from.  I feel defiant, I don't want to sort through it, I don't want to decide what I truly want, yet I know beyond all doubts, I don't want this much and refuse to pack it and move it.  Two beautiful vases, I like them both, but do I really need both just in case one breaks?  Do I need all the other just in case things I have?  Or can I take on a different attitude and outlook and when an item that is used is  broken that cannot be repaired enjoy a new treasure hunt for a replacement?  If not the vases, what about all the other duplicate items?  How many pictures do we really need?  How many jackets? How many shoes?  How many plates and flatware, are we catering in that we need that many dishes?  My eyes rest on many many things.  When I really look, I wonder will I miss it?  When it comes down to it, am I really truly able to live minimally as I have always wanted, just simply enjoying open space and a few creature comforts, or do I find comfort in stuff?  

The answer in my heart is found in this quote by William Morris "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"  So in the end, it is not a question of if I have room that I should be thinking, I should be asking myself why I am considering keeping something that I would be all too willing to get rid of if I didn't have the space? 

When I look around, I realize that honestly I'm willing to part with quite a lot.  If I close my eyes and envision what we own, there are really only a handful of pieces of furniture that I would never consider parting with and in fact would be designed into a tiny house if we did indeed build one, because they are that important.  When I think about my favorite room in my house, it is the rooms that are empty!  I love sitting in an empty room just before we bring all the furniture back in after we have done work, sitting quietly in the clear open space just enjoying the structure intself.  The lighting from the windows, the contrast of the trim color to the walls, the texture of the wood floors. I enjoy it so very much and dread dragging everything back in.  Our whole world is just full of things everywhere.  Our eyes and minds  are overloaded with signs, advertisements, and images.  We have very few places that are just spaces to rest without being bombarded by outward ideas of what we should do, and buy and eat.  Clear space is good, it allows creativity and imagination and individuality.  I guess that says a lot about how I feel about my own question.  

Should space dictate how much you keep? I would love to hear how my readers feel about this question when thinking about your own spaces and belongings.  Wishing you a good day :)


Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Last year I after I put away the Christmas decorations I left my surfaces clear for about a week and it felt great! Then I put out only the items I love.

I have a hard time making decisions... Especially with sentimental items. When I'm in the mood to purge I make sure to donate things right away so no second guessing. I'm doing my house from top to bottom this year - one area a month. It's very freeing already.

Rose said...

No I don't think space should dictate what we keep, we should dictate what's in our spaces.

Donna said...

You bring up a good question. It seems more the norm if one has a larger house to feel the need to fill it,doesn't it? Our house is 918 sq ft,so I am very mindful of what I buy ( or acquire). Your post left me wondering,is it because of the size of the house that I am mindful,or is being mindful a natural progression and the house is just part of it? Hmmmm...good food for thought today. Excellent post!

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Evening Amy, This is an interesting question, does the size of a house dictate what we should have in our home?
When I lived in Germany, I lived in a large house, and as a family our "things" increased because the house was big.... we filled every corner of the house. This was fine because the house was large. Then we returned to England and houses in England are much much smaller. I tried very hard to keep all my precious belongings in the new small house. Which I realised was silly, but it still took a while to clear away a lot of the "stuff" which did not fit into our new home, because of the emotional attachment. Once I had cleared away the things we did not really need, the house looked much better. It was light and airy and I could breath. Once I made the decision that the extra "stuff" should go, I felt a sense of peace and I settled into my new home.
I realise my problem is the emotional attachment which I place on "stuff".
Nowadays, every few months or so, we have a clear out and if things are not used, they are donated to a charity shop, so that the money raised can be donated to the Heart Foundation or a Hospice..... such a good reason to have a clearout.
Best Wishes