So. Much. Stuff.
We closed on our property, which we have named Big Calm, at the end of June. It has a lovely, but old, cabin on it, in addition to a beautifully-built post-and-beam barn. Our plan is to develop and live in the loft above it, which we have named the Shangri-loft. It comes in at about 500 square feet of functional space, half the size of our condo in Calgary.
We have to downsize. A lot. Not only do I have way more shoes and clothes than I need, I’m ashamed to admit that some haven’t even been worn. I have two giant canvasses, that have been sitting there for five years, blank, waiting for me to be inspired to create something beautiful. CDs and DVDs. I found dried corsages from my high school graduation. I’m sentimental, but this is ridiculous.
I guess one amasses a lot of stuff, especially having not moved much. That said, my husband has moved more than a dozen times and has more stuff than I do (Ed. Not true!).
There’s a saying that “the stuff you own, ends up owning you.” So true. It just becomes a burden, especially when you have to get rid of it. And more importantly, most of it could be very useful for those who are less fortunate (not the corsages of course).
We didn’t employ the “only keep what brings you joy” approach, but rather “does this have a function?” approach. It turns out that we have several things that serve the same function, and many things that don’t serve any. Looking at it through a permaculture lens, the ultimate goal is to ensure all elements perform multiple functions. We did our best to donate the rest.
Not only has “the great purge” been liberating, but it’s also the first step to living a simpler life, collecting more experiences than stuff, and acquiring memories, rather than things.