“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.” — Elsie de Wolfe

Monday, 8 February 2010

Leaving Things Behind

"If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having." - Henry Miller

Over the last few months I have been having one of my periodic purges. I am by nature a gatherer and although in recent years I have curbed it somewhat, I always seem to have a never ending amount of 'stuff'.

It is always beautiful things or books that I have a plethora of - but even beautiful things can become a burden if you are swamped in them. Books too, though I find it easier to part with those, probably because as a child I was an avid reader and visited the library regularly, so in my psyche I don't associate books with owning them particularly, though you would never think it to look at my three full bookcases! They are filled with the books that I couldn't part with and those I am yet to read.

With this last editing of my possessions I went deeper than I ever had before (surely a good sign?) and let go of things that I had always passed over in the previous purges. In the end 12 boxes full of beautiful things went to the local charity shop! On Sunday, I gave more things away, I finally realised that the space created by NOT having these things felt better than holding on to them.

Do you gather stuff?
What kind of things do you hold on to?
Do you find it easy to let go?


Suz said...

hello sister

of course I know what you mean...beautiful stuff is still stuff....purge away
I know I am older than you..really older...and now stuff doesn't really have a hold on me like it used to...It is freeing not wanting for anything but connection to my love ones and friends....and beauty in nature and joy
so give it all a look over and purge somemore
1) absolutley love it
2) it has sentimental value
3) it has function and purpose

all else can be tossed

Susannah said...

Hi Suz :-)

Yes, I know what you mean - I don't want for 'things' either and like you, connection to loved ones and beauty in nature and the joy of creativity are part of the fabric of my life.

- So where does all this stuff come from!! lol

I am purging, but most of the things that I have too much of, come in number 1. on your list - I absolutely love it!

Joe suggests that we just get a bigger house! :-)

Jennifer said...

In 2004 I sold my two and a half storey house and moved cities to a two bedroom flat! I have purged much in recent years, and I agree with you - the space is more valuable than the "stuff." It makes you think about what is really precious, and you value the things you do keep more.

Susannah said...

Hi Jennifer :-)

6 years ago we gave away most of our possessions when we were between homes - only keeping what was really loved or absolutely necessary. In those intervening years we have gathered so much stuff and given away almost as much again.

Space around us is good for us psychologically and I always love the feeling after the things have gone - and you are right it does make you value more the things you keep.


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