In the first part of a series of three posts (see Day #4) we were to write about losing something or someone. I was in the process of losing Magnolia – the paint colour. This proved a little difficult for some of my international readers as they only realised I was talking about a paint colour by the end of the post. Sorry!
In the second part of this series we are to write about finding something.
I have recently found space. Literally and figuratively.
As I’ve had to essentially move house – inside my house – I have been driven to get rid of more and more stuff. I became temporarily enamoured with ‘Gumtree’ when I realised that strangers would actually come and take your things away – free! They would come to my place. They would take stuff away from my place. Stuff that I didn’t want in my place. Stuff that people want in their place. One lady even brought me a bottle of prosecco to thank me for letting her take away an old bed! (The contents of that bottle were enjoyed at the ‘renovations-warming party’ last night).
In the process of losing Magnolia (that is, painting the house) I have lost many things (deliberately and accidentally) and I have subsequently acquired a lot more space.
A while back I read an article, in one of those magazines that one only reads while waiting for an appointment with a medical professional, about the art of minimalism in your home. I was intrigued. This woman, whose name I can’t recall, was inspired by the efforts of a man, whose name I can’t recall, to reduce the contents of her house to 100 items.
If you wished to follow her (and his) example, you were allowed to count furniture and the contents of your kitchen as one collective item. But everything else – books, cds, socks, hairbrushes etc – were to be reduced to 99 items. She was only starting with 600 items – so it wasn’t too difficult for her. I figured I couldn’t be bothered counting the contents of my house. So I decided to start by reducing the contents of my house by 100 items.
Within an hour I had reached 100 items – either in bags to go to the charity shop or into the bin. So I kept going. I soon reached 300 items. A whole box of cassette tapes catapulted me into the second 100, as I realised that I no longer possessed a cassette player!
The minimalist approach to life has continued in stages. I find it very liberating. The charity shops find it very profit-boosting. There is less in my house to look after, store, dust or feel burdened about.
As this woman said (the one with the name I can’t remember), it also gives space in your mind to focus on other things. I have found this to be true. I would also add that opening your hands to lose some of your possessions also has the benefit of leaving them open to give of your life generously in other ways.
So I’ll put the challenge out there – the challenge that came from one nameless woman to this nameless woman – to lose 100 items from your house. I like to call it ‘Project 100’ – at least I think that’s my name for it – not the nameless woman’s name for it….
Lose stuff. Find space.