On Living a Simpler Life

Growing up I was sold on the dream that having a library like this..

…And a closet like this…

…Or this…

…equates happiness. At the core of this is the idea that if we are able to give ourselves all of the options to choose from, we can then be truly happy. It’s this idea of freedom and independence that ‘Murica is built on. So how can we go wrong?

To be honest, I spend much less time gazing wistfully into a closet of my dreams and more time scowling at the cluttered mess that my apartment generally is. Clothes are packed into my closet (sometimes multiple items on one hanger), bursting messily out of dresser drawers, and I have piles of books and papers amassing on my desk and other flat surfaces. I’ll go around and clean but in a week it’s back to the same live-able mess that has dogged me my entire life. I joke about how my natural state is organized chaos.

And maybe that’s partially true. I like things a little off, a little over-abundant. But if I’m being completely honest, I don’t really like moving piles out of the way when I want to roll out my yoga mat. I don’t like have to clear off my desk when I want to finally get down to carving my next linocut. I don’t like rushing in the morning and trying to find that one shirt that’s buried (and now inevitably wrinkled) among all of my other clothes that I just washed and put away the day before.

I’ve moved a lot in my life, since going to college. I’ve moved almost every year, sometimes twice a year. Each time I cut down on my belongings to whatever will fit in a few suitcases and then, when it’s time to move again, I’m always amazed at how much I’ve accumulated in such a short amount of time.

Since moving back in with J, I’ve realized that I have to get this stuff under control. While he actually is very neat and doesn’t own a lot of things (compared to almost everyone else I know), we currently live in a studio apartment and combining two lives just means that we have almost double the stuff. We have a couple of large closets, but other than that the rest of our storage is out in the open.  I still have things stored in moving boxes that have no place to go, and piles of papers and books just somehow emerge all over the place.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a stab at The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I read through the book and while parts of it felt hokey (like thanking each one of your items before you discard), there was a lot of truth in her “KonMari” decluttering method that I had to try.

I’ve since started on my decluttering journey and am excited to share it on the Amateur Everything. Stay tuned! There are exciting posts about tidying up coming your way!

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