The Tyranny of Things!


De-junking is the perfect opportunity to weigh up what is important against that which is merely fashionable, Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses or an antidote to an emptiness which is, in fact, of the spirit.

Downsizing – which is what I am engaged upon – makes this distinction doubly acute, valid and, at times, stressful.

But, it can be wonderful, exciting and liberating too – if approached with a bit of lateral thinking.  The initial temptation – because, let’s face it, most of us are attached to our possessions! – is to think, ‘How can I make a space for all of this?’ This leads, inevitably, to frantic cramming as we visualise each room in our new abodes and try to fit each keepsake in somehow.

But if we turn this round and start by asking, ‘What do I actually need to continue my life’s journey?’ things suddenly become much clearer and easier – and the process gains speed and enjoyment as a result.

Taking everything – just in case we find we need it at a later date – is madness in my opinion. What the hell is the point? I’d rather have the bare minimum of fixtures and fittings – and lots of room for friends and relatives – than a home so cluttered and cramped with my life’s belongings that I need a shoehorn to get in and out!

I do not see this as an opening for buying the designer and the new! Not interested! If it is fit for purpose, I’ll keep it. If it doesn’t need replacing with something fancier, why bother? This possibly makes me a slattern of the first order – but, frankly, I don’t care!

A dream home comes from the intentions of the owner and the atmosphere created by loving placement of colours and fabrics and meaningful items. Money does not need to be scattered liberally to the local stores when creating a new abode.

We often say, ‘Oh, if I had enough money, I would furnish my house with…’

But I don’t think I would, to be honest – and I have thought about it a lot recently! If I had tens of thousands, I do not think my basic attitude towards home-making would change one iota. Cosy and welcoming and individual and calming and inspiring; those are the vibes I want to permeate throughout any dwelling I inhabit.

Such an atmosphere can be as easily produced with elderly furniture and specially chosen artefacts gleaned from many decades of life as it can with a blank cheque and an extended trawl round the latest in vogue shops!

I am not yet 100% sure how I want my place to LOOK, but I am totally certain of the way I want it to FEEL. The former, I feel, derives, and draws life and love from, the latter.

Things can dominate us, act as tyrants in our lives – if we let them. But, if we are  mindful and selective and have a people-based agenda at the heart of any move, I think it possible to diminish this tyranny, even overcome it totally!

declutter-blog-post-image

No thanks!

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Yes please!

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8 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Things!

  1. Of the sixty or so boxes that moved with me… carryable sized… three were full of paperwork and manuscripts, forty or so were full of books… all of which are now beautifully housed in cheapest, flat-packed MDF in the ‘library corner’of my bedroom (okay, maybe less a corner and more of a half…) … and in one really nice affair in the tiny living room (which, with the big desk, looks more like an office but suits my needs).

    Squeezing four bedrooms, shed, attic and loads of storage space into a small, one bedroomed flat would have been impossible, so I didn’t try. I took what I would need and a few things I really love for their associations, knowing that, when all is said and done, if I gave the lot away, the memories they trigger would always remain.

    I have space… and that means space to play with colour and light. I have too many paintings on the walls, too many books *chokes* but do you know what? It’s me… for the very first time, I get a proper place of my own.

    You are going to have so much fun making yours! 🙂 Just don’t forget to pack a hammer and buy an electric screwdriver 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so reassuring, Sue, because I know you have already reached the place I will be getting to shortly: You understand, in other words. My vision of what my space will look like gets stronger every day. xxx

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  2. Because we’ve moved home (and countries) so many times, we tend to be minimalist in our furnishings – with periodic clear outs to return to basics. However, the one thing we DO keep at all times is the sense of Peaceful Quiet Calm, so our home is a retreat from the noisy, bustling vagaries of the outside world.
    Very best of luck with the downsizing Ali 😘

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, I know what you mean, Chris – and one of the abiding sadnesses I have about my long stint as a teacher is that, for the latter parts of it, I did not fight hard enough to create an oasis of peace and calm in the home. xxx

          Liked by 1 person

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