Minimalism looks different for everyone and not every need is the same, so my journey may look a little less stark than some, and excessive to others. I've always been organized and tidy. I've rarely kept things out of sentimentality. And "collectibles" was a word I'd banished from my vocabulary. Almost a decade ago, I donated my entire personal library of 5000 books, and never felt more free from the burden of stuff. So I held on to that memory when starting this journey more fully, when it seemed too difficult to separate myself from my things. Things without meaning or function. And I was surrounded by my husband's stuff. And my kid's stuff. And it all felt.... heavy. While I can't control what those around me chose to surround themselves with, I decided to take some power back for myself. I tossed old clothes.... you know... those clothes we hang on to for the special occasions we've never had in the two years since we bought them, or the clothes that will fit "some day". I condensed my purses to what would fit in a single basket on the shelf in my closet. All things that I had a lot of were all condensed to similar baskets, with the intention that nothing should "spill over" from the space they were allotted.
And this applied to my craft supplies and jewelry supplies as well. While I run a business, and keeping a certain amount of supplies and tools are a necessity, I committed to not spilling into the kitchen or closets with my shipping envelopes or unused or superfluous tools. I would buy as needed. I re-homed the dapping set, tumbler, chasing and repousse tools that I either only used a handful of times or never at all in the two years I'd owned them. And every day, I'm moving things out, to make space for more me.
Don't get me wrong. I still have things. While I purged a ton of kitchen gadgets (I don't even own a blender or mixer any more), and my coffee mugs dwindled from eight to four, I still have things for the fun of it. I have an obsession with hand-knotted mala beads and tarot decks and my aversion to the term "collectibles" turns a blind eye where they are concerned. I am not so minimalist (nor do I believe I ever will be) that I'll only own five shirts, one pair of shoes, or a single plate and bowl and fork and spoon. But what I do have must serve a purpose ("knick-knacks" is not a term I understand), and sometimes that purpose is simply to act as a conduit to serenity. The jewelry I own, for instance, provides a sense of serenity for me, acts as a sort of worry stone, that I can wear, carry with me, concentrate on, meditate with. It brings me to center. But, when something stops bringing me joy, or begins to feel more a burden than a release from burden, I am now quick to let it go.
And what has this meant for my creativity..... downsizing my tools and bead stash and everything else? Surprisingly, it's opened up new possibilities for me. The tools I'd had and didn't use were simply broadcasting this notion that I was somehow "failing" myself. That I wasn't pushing enough boundaries. And, quite frankly, it was stressing me out! But, by moving them on, I discovered there were still so many more boundaries to discover with what I still had. Without the distraction of that tool I "may someday, eventually use" I've become hyper aware of ideas still untapped with the mediums I already know and love. And I'm in a space now peaceful and serene enough to allow me to explore those possibilities.
Now if I can just get my husband to downsize what's in the garage. That room gives me hives!
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