reader comment i needed to comment on


(photo: dave lauridsen; dwell via unhappy hipsters)

AilanthusAltissima said…

“I wish I could get to the point that you have. I do realize that things don’t make me happy, but I still wish I could figure out how to get rid of more things and not regret it. Things are getting better (slowly) as I work on it. I love reading your blog…”

My approach is about long-term change which takes time. No one can do it overnight, I certainly didn’t. As far as not regretting things you’ve edited; when in doubt, don’t. When you force yourself to edit you make mistakes. Make your immediate decisions first; things you KNOW you don’t want or need, then go on from there. My philosophy is about doing things for a reason. Not just because of some arbitrary statement. It needs to be meaningful to you and your life. And there are things you can archive. For example, if I have a piece of clothing that fits me, fit’s my overall style but maybe I just wore it a lot and am now sick of it, it get’s put away until the next season. No reason to get rid of it…

Maybe you’re having a hard time because you’re having a hard time with something else in your life that needs your attention. It’s a common theme I’ve seen over the years. If that is the case, give your self a break from organizing/editing and focus on the real issue. Otherwise, you’ll keep going in circles torturing yourself!

5 responses

  1. Wow! You are very perceptive. Yes, I am having a hard time with another area of my life (my job) and I am working on it, but it is an issue that takes a very long time to improve and it won't change overnight. I never considered that an unrelated situation with my job would impact things that I have in my home. Thank you for the insight. Thanks also for the insight about editing. Thankfully, I have only had regrets about a handful of things that I got rid of, but sometimes it's that one thing you wished you had kept two years ago that just sticks in your mind…I hope you are thinking about writing a book about organizing and design. I know there are several good books on organizing out there, but I think you have a great aesthetic and sense of style and a unique philosophy about organizing and the relationship between a person and his/her things.

  2. I love reading your blog too! It's like watching something clean (of course!) but quiet and peaceful that inspire me because i just can't do the same naturally (spontaneously).It's weird and funny to see how my appartment is just like the inside of my head! i have lots and lots of things that i don't want anymore, but i just can't get rid of it! What i've seen recently (this mornig after a big "clean" ) is that for me, when my appartment is too much clean (too much is not sooo much ;-)…) i feel it's like empty or sade ! It's weird and i can't really explain it but really i think you right, we all must make things when we can, no too fast and don't force step after another :-)!

  3. i feel like the 'empty is sad' is a marketing tool that we've been hit over the head (subliminally) for so long that we believe it. remember we live in a consumerist society. i fell for it too for so long, that 'stuff' equals happiness.if you look at the way most of the people in the world live, and i'm not just talking third world, most don't have large homes with tons of things. do you think they're less happy with less things? we're certainly not topping the lists of most happy nation! i think that's bhutan…

  4. I love your blog and get so excited each time there is a new post. Most of the time, people talk about being minimalist, I do not think that's me at all, which in turn discourages me from being better organized. I have a lot of stuff but I use and enjoy each piece; so there is no need to try to pair it down. Thank you for the good advice :)

  5. exactly vanessa, 'living better with less' is not the same being as minimalist! i'm glad you found the right balance for you…:O)