The current trend of minimalism speaks to me.
(Not that you could tell that when you walk in my house.)
But I love this idea. Of making do with less. Of keeping only the things that make you happy. Of emptying closets and drawers so that whatever you are looking for – and only what you need – pops into view whenever you open that space and look inside.
When I retired I spent my last year of work going though our house room by room in the evenings and eliminating the excess. But things creep in. I need to do this again now. A little decluttering along the way helps.
The hard part is knowing what to do with family heirlooms. It is easy to pass along my children’s things to them (and let them decide what to keep). The hard part is what to do with things from the past. What offers no connections to today? What is essential to knowing who you really are? What is truly valuable?
My mother was a hoarder. We didn’t know that term back then or recognize it as an illness, but that doesn’t make it less true. (It was just at the end of her life, and I have to add that she was the best Mama I could have ever had otherwise.) Dealing with that definitely influences my choices for what to keep these days.
So, I am working on sorting, and finding peace in what I choose to keep.
But… I must also say… there is a certain comfort in spaces that echo the years that been have lived in them.
Walking into a room that has the same look as it always has, that holds pictures from the past in spots reserved only for them, that welcomes you for who you have always been as well as who you are becoming – there is a lot of joy here, too. And so many cherished memories to hold on to tightly – and gently, with great care.
The Big House is a book that describes a family property that exemplified this very thing – the security in sameness through the years. Being there gave the author a sense of time standing still. And, sometimes, there can be great comfort in that.
Economy can be partially defined as “a social domain that emphasizes the … material expressions associated with the … management of resources.”
So the challenge is to be a good manager of resources. To get rid of burdensome stuff, and treasure the gifts from life experiences that hold meaning and joy.
What a responsibility! And what an honor – to hold so much in our hands.