I've been spending a lot of time at my parent's house in Salt Lake, being with my family, and helping my mom as best I can. There's endless paperwork that I'm really not much help with, so I've tried to help in other ways. I've helped get my dad's clothes, books, and other things organized. It's hard to go through stacks, seeing what was important to him and what he was thinking of his last few weeks at home. It made me think about what people would think of me if I were to disappear suddenly. What would they think is important to me? What am I holding on to?
That's one of the points where my dad and I diverge. I think we were both collectors of sorts. I used to feel like I needed to have every song in the world, which led to a panic attack when I lost 13,000 songs from iTunes, and then near mental breakdown when we lost 50,000 songs from our computer hard drive a year or so ago. My dad felt like he had to own every book. We held on to so many things, and our rooms (as well as storage in our attic, basement, and rooms all over the house) allowed us to. People tend to fit the space their given. So having an abundance of home space, can easily lead to an abundance of things. But those things can become a burden. At least to me. Stacks of books begging to be read. Piles of stuffed animals anticipating snuggles. Closets full of clothes waiting to be worn. (I had problems with personification as a kid).
A few years ago, I decided to stop. I didn't want my "things" to define me, so I started to cut down. A lot. I researched"living small". And watched videos like this:
My dad gave me a magazine a month or so ago dedicated to small design.
That's one of the things I miss about my dad. The things you loved became the things he loved. He was always so thoughtful, and kept others in mind. Whenever he read something about living small, or perfume, or Jack White, or any of my other weirdo interests, he would send it my way. Anyway, I'm going to try and incorporate their design ideas in the space I have.
A month or so ago, this article was making the rounds on Facebook. If you aren't convinced to live small, give a read, and it may just convince you. Some highlights:
"This is only one small example of something that has been going on for a very long time. Big companies didn’t make their millions by earnestly promoting the virtues of their products, they made it by creating a culture of hundreds of millions of people that buy way more than they need and try to chase away dissatisfaction with money."
"We buy stuff to cheer ourselves up, to keep up with the Joneses, to fulfill our childhood vision of what our adulthood would be like, to broadcast our status to the world, and for a lot of other psychological reasons that have very little to do with how useful the product really is. "
"Healthy, happy people don’t feel like they need much they don’t already have, and that means they don’t buy a lot of junk, don’t need to be entertained as much, and they don’t end up watching a lot of commercials."It's true guys!
Best of luck in your down-sizing endeavors! Remember. You're more than your stuff!