Yesterday the library was closed in observance of Independence Day, and I have been using the time to get a little closer to my minimalist goals. This is a constant undertaking, an intermittent weekend project. Although I am frequently given pause by the thought of how much else I have to do — how far away it seems I am from my goal of a clutter-free life — my memory is good enough to give me perspective. I can compare what is now with what was two years ago, and in that comparison I find much progress. So I press on!
When I approach an impasse, when I encounter items that I know I don’t want to hold on to forever, but what I cannot prompt myself to do away with just yet, I asked myself a question. It’s something of a meditation. If worse came to worse and I lost everything I owned, save for the clothes on my back, what would I seek to restore? What clothing, what books and DVDs? What tools? This question always throws light on a subject for me, because it makes me realize that I can live without the thing in question. It gives me hope for the future, too, because when I ask the question the answer in the back of my mind always surprises me: astonishingly little. In the last year I’ve drastically reduced my wardrobe and found that a boon to my daily routine, for instance, and these days I almost always give away the books I buy, and I steadily chip away at my book, CD, DVD, and game disc collections. I can see myself at peace — one day. The question is more interesting on a deeper level, too….stripped of of all our things and the sense of security they provide, how would we cope as individuals? Do we find our meaning in the things we possess? That was one of the largest burdens for me in attacking my book collection, because I was so proud of my enormous library and the variety of subjects it contained. It was a monument to vanity. Now it’s just my TBR pile that serves that function, doing double-duty as a monument to my gluttony as well…!
Anyhoo, enough rambling. Review to come for Clutter Free tomorrow.