Friday 22 January 2016

I spent last Sunday rearranging furniture. It's something I like to do from time to time when I feel like things have gotten a little stale, and I need to find some creative motivation again. It's also a family habit that I've picked up from Mamma J.

The problem with rearranging things is that 9 times out of 10, they get a whole lot worse before they get better.

You start off thinking "I need to put some washing away", and then you realise, you've nowhere to put the washing. You stand there thinking, but this washing CAME from that wardrobe, so how come it won't go back? Then you realise your whole wardrobe system is no longer working. So before you can put the new washing into the wardrobe you have to take everything else out.

Two hours later you're sat surrounded by everything you own, thinking you should have just left the washing on the clothes horse until you needed it (and if you've never done that, then you've never lived alone).

That's about where I am right now, except it started with old magazines, books, keepsakes, dvds, miscellaneous electrical items, half finished sewing projects, and bits of stuff I may one day need, and now, one new shelving unit later I'm just beginning on my washing and wardrobe situation.

Over the last 5 days I can't count the amount of times I've thought about just throwing everything away, because how much of that stuff do I really need? How much space and energy is that stuff taking up? The more stuff you have the more stuff you have to tidy, to store, to move, to stress about, to look after. And how much of that stuff actually gets used?

I keep my old magazines because they remind me of my time in Manchester, living in the flat that nobody loved, with no internet connection, or tv, but a fancy magazine shop just 5 minutes down the road. I tell myself that they are full of interesting things and fascinating people, that I will one day pick up that old magazine and read it as if it were new. But I never do, I never pick up an old magazine, because there is always a new one.

I keep clothes, because I like how they look on the hanger, or because I wore them to that event, or because they just cost THAT much. That outfit would be perfect if I ever go... But I never go there. And if I did ever get invited to that magical place of 'IF' I'd probably buy something new... that or I'll be too surrounded by stuff to ever make it out of my flat anyway.

Maybe that's an exaggeration. Yes on first glance it looks like I have a lot of stuff, but I also have four bin bags full to send to the charity shop. I have stuff that reminds me where I've bin, and makes where I am feel at home.

I love the idea of being a minimalist. Of being able to pack up my bag and leave for the next adventure in a matter of minutes. But the fact is I probably love the idea of it, more than I would love the reality of it.

I no longer dream of running away, I dream of setting up a life, of having roots, of being anchored down. By people, and memories, and by the stuff that ties it all together.

Stuff is my anchor. Sure one day I might want to raise the anchor and set sail, and if I do I can throw things overboard then.

For now, my stuff makes my small one bedroom rented flat feel like home.

Stuff isn't the be all and end all, and I know I can't take it with me when I'm gone, and while it might be a pain in the arse to sort through, its my pain in the arse. It's a collection of where I've been and what I've done, and there's no shame in that.

So don't get too down about owning stuff, just aim to keep on top of it.

Live life & love your stuff x
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