Perpetual Decluttering

“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” ― Barbara Hemphill

Over the past several years I have gone through a constant process of decluttering.  Last year it culminated in me getting rid of 1000 items in one year.  That was everything from pens to a wedding dress.  I was moving from a four floor house in the UK to an apartment in Paris that was less than 300 square feet.  This year I stopped calculating.  I knew I could not keep excessive items, because there literally was no space for them.  But today I gave away several items, and I felt a tiny sting.

One of these items was a backpack, which I have worn the past two years on the Camino de Santiago.  These were walking pilgrimages that lasted for days.  It held significance for me, and I would have kept that backpack for longer, but it began to fall apart.  I also gave away a tank top, which I wore on many first dates this past year.  It was a flattering color, but I admit it has seen better days.  I parted with a light sweater which brought warmth on numerous trips. 

I realize for me decluttering is an ongoing cleansing I must do.  Certain items are easy for me to get rid of, but others I have been putting off.  I want to keep these items until they must be disposed of.  But I can’t help but wonder why.  Why am I waiting till these items are in torn conditions?  Don’t I deserve more than this?  I am not struggling.  I have more items to utilize.  These items do not have to last forever, so why do I wait until they are totally worn to release them?  I wonder “What does that say about me and how I value myself?” 

How am I trying to show my value and worth to the world if I continue to wear these clothes to the ground?  If I keep everything, there is no space to let in new experiences.  Having these thoughts, I wanted to make a different choice. And with that I let them go.  

“Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.” ― Eleanor Brownn

me, my bookbag, and my friend Isabella on the camino

Small Home Treasures

         “Tiny houses empower you to more specifically choose how you want to live.”-Ethan Waldman

         Anyone close to me could tell you, I am not much of a detail-oriented person.  I see the big picture, but not all the little pieces.  Yet with living in a small home, there is not much space to roam.  One cannot help but see the nuances that arise. 

         I can notice when new dust settles into a certain area, and for some reason I take more pride in ridding that dust.  Even though I have no current visitors to my 290 square foot apartment, it’s important that it stays as clean as possible.  There is not much space for excess food, toiletries, or clothes.  All that is within these four walls must have a purpose.  I do not buy more than I need, because there is nowhere to store this.  This must be a combination of tiny home living and not living in America, where I can feel compelled to buy all shiny objects that are within my sight.  

         I’m learning the difference of want and need.

I also have been home more to recognize how the atmosphere of the room shifts throughout a twenty-four hour period.  When I first moved here, it was dark until 800 am, but now the sun seems to rise closer to 700.  My two dogs and I notice how the minutes of daylight have extended.  Puzo and Bella shift their bodies with the sunlight, almost as if their torsos are hands of a sundial.  I have made makeshift dog beds for them to pivot towards the rays, tanning as tourists do on a summer holiday.

Could I use more space? Oui.

Do I need more space to make me more happy? Not necessarily.  

There is a sense of contentedness here.  I have time.  I have all that I need.  I take pride in what I do own.  And I can simply be, as I also shift my body towards the sun with my dogs.