I was reading a book today and one character said to another character “You follow the rules of William Morris.” Not knowing who William Morris was nor what his rules were, I read on, hoping the author would educate me. And she did. “You have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful nor think to be beautiful.” William Morris was a designer, writer and artist. Hmmm, useful and beautiful.
This is particularly relevent to me as Emile and I review our things for another move in a couple of weeks.
Only the useful and beautiful to me. Can I really say the same of my things? It’s emotional reviewing your possessions deciding what to keep, sell or donate. There is the consideration of how you got it – was it a gift? Or how much you paid for it and how long ago you bought it. I mean if you purchased it recently and now not finding it “useful” or “beautiful”, it is like admitting you made a mistake and should not have purchased it in the first place. Who wants to admit a mistake? If the purchase was recent and the item has much life left, it is worse. But if it used it, its okay.
I don’t want to let go of things, and I think you’d be surprised at how much we do not have. Emile and I would not be able to throw a successful garage sale. We don’t have kids and we tend to quickly remove unneccessary items from our home. But what happens when you have to cut deeper than useful and beautiful? What happens if you can only take the doubly useful and very beautiful, regardless of how or when it came to you?
Don’t try to do it all in one day, or you’ll find yourself holding on to things you don’t like, aren’t beautiful, aren’t useful, but you think someone you might have cared about a long time ago gave it to you.
August 12th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: When you haven’t looked at your stuff in almost a year, it’s much easier to imagine yourself living without it.