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!