Saturday, 24 September 2016

It's Packing Time (and learning what it is I really love)

As I mentioned last time in another post, my every day off seems to be taken up by errands I can't get out of and I've been spending any free minutes on packing up much of the stuff in our open plan living and dining area as we've started refurbishing parts of our home.

As a result, this post is going to be very much about my packing/decorating agenda. To start with, only when I started packing one box after another did I realise just how far I am still from my target of having less things and more space. However packing it all up did help boost my want to minimise more for two reasons. Firstly, as Marie Kondo states in her first book about decluttering The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying it is true that unless you move things from their original position you fail to truly see how much there is and how not everything is really stuff you would want to keep once you've displaced it. Add to that, piling it up in boxes made me want to make an inventory of it all and that in turn helped me recognise what it is I truly love and what I don't want to put back on my shelves once we're all done with the painting and the rest of it. Marie Kondo advises to pick up each piece in turn to 'feel' whether it sparks joy, but with the decorative stuff that did not work for me as every time I thought of the person who'd gifted the item or why such things like frames might be useful though I don't like them or how I'd picked it out on a trip or a million other reasons why not to let it go. With the items packed out of sight and a list it turned out to be easier for me to decide. I knew offhand which items I loved so much that I immediately marked as 'to keep'. Truly, maybe I should let go of all the rest of it but maybe I'm not far enough into my journey into Minimalism to be truly comfortable with that so I am trying to at least divide it all into three sections - to keep, to give and the undecided things.

This last section will be dealt with once all the new/changed around furniture is in its final place and I can see exactly what fit and what doesn't. There is no use for decorative stuff squirrelled away behind closed cupboards so what doesn't fit must go. I have to admit that, knowing what I want our space to ultimately look like, I have already made two new purchases for the new living space and have something waiting for me in the Amazon wishlist which I am still undecided about. However these are not guilty purchases as I chose what I truly think is beautiful and as I said, other stuff is going to go. Still, the Minimalist in me keeps arguing with my heart about whether I really should have bought them. Then I look at the items, both a vintage cream colour and style and I feel like singing with the excitement of knowing they'll eventually be in my 'new' space so I know they are meant to be in my home.

Talking about purchases, Minimalism has been the culprit of many new buys for me, believe it or not, because its creed is that you should surround yourself by things that you love and to be honest, when it came to decorative stuff there wasn't too much of that, amid the mountain of things that I have packed up for now. So whilst many things, some of which (probably the majority) were gifts, that I totally don't want will be going out of the house pretty soon (to the charity shop not the landfill), I have been buying more. However, I now only buy stuff that makes my heart sing and not the things that are 'bargains' or cheap stuff to ensure I fill up the place. Actually, I don't want an overstuffed place and would rather have breathing space instead. That said, I totally love frame-filled walls.

My last point for today is, when I do buy things just because I like them rather than because I need them, I try to ensure to always let go of the similar/extra/related things that don't spark joy any more. It's not so much a one-in-one-out approach as I don't really do rules and numbers in my Minimalist choices but I do buy consciously, knowing that I would be replacing the new for the old, rather than adding to it. So for example I will be saying goodbye to all the chipped mugs that have served me well for so long when my new dining room furniture comes and I put in it the retro mugs I bought recently. Same goes for the old glassware that is pleading with me to finally let it retire in peace... they'll be out of the house (these ones to the recycling site) once I place my new multi-coloured selection in rows in the new furniture cupboard. However for now, I can only dream whilst keeping my stylish new purchases stacked inside wardrobes and on the floor all around the main bedroom whilst I slowly empty the front side of the house of all but our kitchen area and things.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Exhaustion

Not a very positive title today from a quite dejected Me. I am always striving towards being more Minimalist in both stuff and my calendar and also preach that we should always work less and take time to rest. However try as I might things just keep piling up and won't allow me a break.

For some reason, every time I see a blank day on my diary something just has to come up to fill it up, something beyond my control or else that I must do one day or the next so that I'd much rather brush it off my 'to do' list at the earliest (I am not a procrastinator and on the contrary, I panic when I see deadlines looming). I am currently trying to juggle all the following:

- a back-to-school list of things I must cross off (isn't it nauseating the way any time you order something or go shop for something there just has to be one item that turns out damaged and needs returning or that is currently out of stock or in a different outlet, so that you must make your way to the same shop or website twice?!) By the way, if you live in Malta and know which shop on the island stocks beige knee socks for boys then please please, I beg you, leave me a comment on here as I've run out of places to check out! (PS - someone other than the uniform provider as I've been and it turns out their smaller size is too small and the bigger size too big for my son's feet!)

- my hospital appointments are still not over. Why, just why, is my knee still playing up, tests all coming back ok or with more general problems like vitamin deficiencies, but nothing at all to indicate why after all the mornings I've spent in Outpatients and running around the hospital from MRI to Xray and bleeding room to Bone Density Scan and back to MRI, I still have no answer as to why my knee won't function normally and I'm still in pain, even after the long post-op recovery period is over?

- I've been buying things for our house! Now this one at least is worth the trouble (not that my son's education isn't, it's just the ridiculous amount of related errands that's getting on my nerves). Ok ok, I'm Minimalist and this is the last thing you expected to hear from me but there are purchases and there are purchases. What I meant to say was my husband and I've been shopping around for some big items that we still had not got round to getting for our house. Add to that some things were in need of a revamp if we want to do our beloved home justice by not leaving things half-done. And well, some things were also past their prime. This last makes me sound very old for my age, knowing I've been living in this house long enough to be already changing worn stuff when my friends are just getting married or still doing up their spare room!

So, I think the above put together give a good picture of just why I am totally knackered and they don't include my work days and multiple doctor and dentist visits that have been on the cards. Please someone, magic up a day off for me!