Two heads are better than one.
Paul Graham wrote an awesome essay about Stuff
. It kind of pertains to my thoughts about living in a small space
...actually it sums up a lot of what I have been thinking lately. I am a Stuff Acquirer. Less so now than I used to be, but I still have my quirks. One day there was a giant corkboard outside by the dumpster fence...you know, in that place that people who are moving out put things because they don't want to throw them away. It's huge. It was blank. I like blank things, because it means I can cover them with stuff. I hauled it upstairs.
That was in June. It's still sitting there in my apartment...bare. Mostly because there's no good place to hang it. It's that big. I'd have to rearrange my artfully placed photos and Mary Chapin Carpenter tour poster, haha. So...I'll probably haul it back down to the dumpster one day, and someone else with big dreams and a year to plan can pick it up.
Silliness, huh? I've got shirts I bought at the thrift store that I never really wear. I've got books I don't read. Pots and pans I don't cook with. Humans are full of that "One Day..." syndrome. One day I might need this, one day someone might need to borrow that. In the meantime my studio starts to look like a museum and the number of items I actually TOUCH in it...as in...use on a weekly basis...is low. The most horrifying quote in Graham's essay to me is this one:"I know of one couple who couldn't retire to the town they preferred because they couldn't afford a place there big enough for all their stuff. Their house isn't theirs; it's their stuff's."
Whoa. That's my idea of a nightmare. "Man, I'd really like to go live in Seattle now but I can't afford to move this china hutch and my collection of Peter, Paul, and Mary records that I will totally listen to once I get a record player." should never hold you back from experience
. Experience builds you up as a person, stuff does not.
And there's an article on Wise Bread about uncluttering
that makes the excellent point that
less stuff = clearer head. I feel great when I can see my floor. Wise Bread also makes the point that once you clear out some of the things you don't need, the next challenge is to...NOT BUY MORE.
Oh, crap. What's better than spending a Saturday afternoon buying a CD or two at Waterloo
(guilty: just bought The Weepies
disc), heading over to Book People
"just to browse," (guilty: new Hemingway tome), and winding it all up with a quick browse through Whole Foods
? Curse you, 6th and Lamar in Downtown Austin and your pleasantly walkable shopping district! It's all about the experience, I guess. But who's to say I can't go listen to a whole CD at Waterloo without buying -- they let you do that
-- then go page through a book or a magazine at Book People -- they let you do that, too, in a comfy chair!
-- and then people watch on the Whole Foods patio with oh, a grapefruit? (Still on that grapefruit kick, kids). That would cost me $0.59 total instead of...well, like $50.00. Brilliant. And then there's nothing to store in my already clogged apartment, either. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
This is all part of a Larger Plan...that is still being, well...planned. But you can bet it'll get blogged about. In the meantime, we're just pondering. Ponder with me.
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