Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Zen of Empty Shelves

My material needs for a month or two fit into a small backpack, end-on in an aircraft's overhead bin.

I find it satisfying to carefully select what I'm going to pack in my 35-liter backpack before heading out of town for a few weeks. I now want that same compact, lightweight, self-sufficient feeling with our stuff in our home.

"Curated" is a somewhat overused term. These days, it seems it's more often used to describe the content of a Web site than a museum.
Curate. Select, organize, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge.
The contents of my backpack are "curated" and I like things that way. Recently, I've found myself wondering: why not curate the contents of our home?

We've never been big shoppers, and we're not big pack-rats. We wouldn't qualify for one of those hoarder reality shows I've read about but hope never to see.

However, we have stuff we will never use again, and we're fixing that.
Note: This is just a start; for example, 
  • We've been buying eBooks since 2010, but we have yet to dispose of many of our paper books. 
  • We have photos and slides still to scan then toss. 
  • We digitize our papers and records; now we have to donate our filing cabinet to a school. 
  • Clothing needs to be donated to Goodwill or dumped in a fabric recycling bin. I will never wear a suit again, and I only need one or two ties.
  • We have a kitchen implement rule: if we buy something for the kitchen, something has to go to Goodwill. Despite this rule, we still have items we have not used in years: these need to go.
  • We bought our older car in 1996. When it dies, we will not replace it.
Our shelves and cupboards are built-in, so they stay!

As we surround ourselves with less, I suspect we'll want even less. I do have one large plastic tub where I allow myself to store items of sentimental value.

Oh, the problems of  21st century Western life.

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