Saturday, 30 April 2011

Minimalist mania

I recently discovered that there are dozens -- thousands? -- of minimalist blogs, sites, and books. This was news to me.
The minimalist message was initially appealing, but I'll never be one. If there's one thing that I like more than space, it's beauty. Stark and minimal can absolutely be beautiful. But so can old and meaningful.
To me, de-cluttering means getting rid of, and avoiding, useless and ugly things, and being able to find and use what we have and love.
I recently read a post by a woman who had scanned her grandmother's letters and then discarded the originals. She was thrilled because she could now read them any where in the world. True enough, and smart to scan them. But discarding the originals? How much space could they have occupied? Perhaps her grandmother was more prolific than mine.
Keeping my grandmother's letters is a no-brainer for me. My goal is just to gather them all into one box!
A tougher spot for me is her chipped china. So many memories, so little use... Yes, I have a long way to go in this de-cluttering project.
For me, arbitrary advice like, "if you haven't touched it in a year, toss it," makes de-cluttering more intimidating. I know that that rule will never work for me, so I'm tossing it!
So far there is one guideline that does work for me, which is William Morris's advice to "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
That allows a pretty wide scope, which may be part of my problem. I'm going to need some more guidelines.

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