I just moved out of a 4 bedroom house where I lived with my boyfriend and his 2 children. We spent 6 years together until it just didn't work any more. So I find myself in a new smaller space — a one bedroom apartment full of possibility, full of newness. Part of that hope came from culling my things. With the holidays and a new year approaching, it feels great to have space for possibility.
With all the consumption and shopping happening in the next couple of weeks, it's nice to create space in the house, in the cupboards, in the closet. It feels good to not have things bursting out of their holding places. It's nice to have space for the unknown. For beautiful things. In making space and being thoughtful about the life I want I ask myself these questions:
• Do I love it? This is number one. If I don't love it, it's out.
• Do I use it? Sometimes I think I need something or I think I use it but in reality I don't.
• Do I feel good when I look at this object?
• Am I keeping it out of guilt or because I 'should'? i.e. was it a gift I'm afraid to let go of.
• Does this fit me in my life now? Sometimes I hang on to things for the sake of nostalgia, because it reminds me of a time I don't want to let go of. But I can let go of the object without letting go of the memory. And when all else fails, I take a picture of it and let it go.
• Am I hanging on to something for a possible future need? If I'm saving something for some magical future time I have to get real. Am I really going to wear the low cut sequined dress? Or am I really going to bake mini brioches in the great mini brioche pans I have? Sometimes I'd like to think I'm that person, but it's ok to say I'm not. It leaves space for what I really use. Even if I don't know what it is yet.
With less stuff I have less to take care of, especially when compared with a big house and a lot of people in it. Now I have more space to meet new friends, spend less time cleaning and corralling my things, I've got room to breath.
Image: Laure Joliet