I was going to write about this wonderful book I’m reading, Peter Walsh’s It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff, but I spent the day running around town with Shra and so I haven’t had too much time.* Then I got back and found Huy’s recent entry about moving, and it was the perfect venue for me to write about the book and dispense some quotations from it:
This is the bottom line: If your stuff and the way it is organized is getting you to your goals… fantastic. But if it’s impeding your vision for the life you want, then why is it in your home? Why is it in your life? Why do you cling to it? These questions are the ultimate reality check when it comes to what you own and what you have in your home. The first step to getting organized is to work from the vision of the life you want to live. Everything flows from this.” (p12)
For me, it’s not first and foremost about ‘the stuff’–that’s way too superficial! It’s about changing your relationship to your stuff. It’s about keeping things that make sense for your life–your real life, not a fantasy of what was or what could be. Stuff is secondary to who you are, and that needs to be reflected in your home and in your life.(16)
We hold on to our possession because we believe they’re important–to ourselves, to others, to our family, to our dreams, to our own personal story… Do you worry that in letting go of an item, you will have let go of those memories? Has the line between the memory and the object itself become blurred? Are you afraid that if this painting, or this pile of photos, or this stack of drawings is gone, you will lose that part of your past forever?”(35)
Don’t tell me something is important, has personal value, or is a family heirloom if it’s covered in dust, lost in a pile of clutter, or buried somewhere in your garage. If you value an item, you need to show it the honor and respect it deserves. Otherwise, it has no place in your home… The value you say an item holds for you must be reflected in the place you give that item in your life, otherwise your words have no meaning and the object is little more than clutter.”(36)
There’s also a whole three-stage plan that involves the entire household and an elaborate set of forms and discussions. I’m going to follow Walsh’s excellent recommendations for de-cluttering the apartment, and hopefully before too long you’ll be seeing gorgeous photos of our newly streamlined apartment! (I hope I hope.)
In other news… I have a new userpic and new glasses, but the userpic was taken before I received the glasses and I don’t have a good picture of those yet. That will be forthcoming.
This is shaping up to be a truly lovely week, with Shra here, and our many plans: meet-up with Mommy and Al (and maybe Jennifer?) in San Diego tomorrow, Getty Center on Wednesday, Hollywood Bowl on Thursday, Penzeys and Surfas on Friday, Griffith Observatory and Arclight over the weekend. Splendid.
Oh and I had the weirdest dream last night, a mash-up of Harry Potter and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Swiftly Tilting Planet that took place in an enormous mansion. I was first a girl, then I was Harry and I had to collect seven necklaces Lily Potter had hidden before her death, which combined with the rune in Planet would serve to defeat the powers of darkness. It was wild. I think my brain was working overtime trying to come up with this plot — I woke up exhausted.
Here’s Shra at the Central Library yesterday:
Today’s itinerary: UCLA, Tbilisi and Yerevan bakery, Scoops — OMG pistachio and rosewater gelato is BEST THING EVER, Mil Hama bakery, OSH to get supplies for repotting pretty new herbs, and then back home to relax, read, and make cold sesame noodles and fruit salad. Yes there was much eating.
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]
Sounds like a fun, busy week! If you’d like free parking for the Getty, just email me with the date and time you plan to arrive and the number of cars and people, and I’ll give you a code. 🙂
[…] all too much… for real this time! Some time ago I read and fell in love with Peter Walsh’s book, It’s All Too Much, and its advice on decluttering my life […]