Slow Stages of Uncluttering

My presently over-crowded bookshelf.

I’m finally starting to get settled in my new home.  All of the boxes are unpacked, and I’ve been busy organizing and finding places for things.  Figuring out how to share a space with someone who has already been living there for three years takes a little while!

Now that most of the heavy lifting is done, I sometimes find myself grasping for “work” I can do to bring my space to the clutter-free, minimalist level I want it to be.  My problem area is the bookshelf and the closet.  I have more books, notebooks, and piano music than will fit on the 3-shelf bookshelf I own.  I bought a couple of wooden crates for 3 bucks each at Goodwill, but that still didn’t cut it.  I was getting easily sucked in to scouring craigslist and the Ikea website for budget storage solutions.  I had to take a step back and remind myself that if  I’m having to buy more stuff to contain my stuff, it’s a sign that I have too much stuff.  So, I took another look around, and it was then that I realized that I’ve actually reached the slow stage of uncluttering.  It’s a stage that I’ve been working towards for a long time without realizing that it existed.  See, most of the “stuff” that I’m trying to figure out how to store is connected to my hobbies, to things I love doing.  I have full notebooks that I need to harvest for ideas and recycle.  I have books that I need to read.  I have knitting that I could be doing, and, of course, there’s always cooking.  It is a much better use of my time to pick up and finish a book so I can donate it than it is to make a run to Goodwill to see if they have gotten something in that will help me feel more organized.  What an amazing place to be!  It feels so indulgent, yet it really is why I began the process of minimizing my possessions in the first place: to create more space in my life for the things that I love.

So, tonight I am going to cook a big batch of mushroom bourguignon, a la Smitten Kitchen, and spend my time doing things that matter and help me feel fulfilled.  I hope you feel inspired and empowered to do the same!

My new minimalist bedside area. Horse drawing courtesy of one of my best friends.

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