I read a book recently called, Happiness at Home, by Gretchen Rubin. She also wrote a book before this one called, The Happiness Project. The basic ideas of the two books are finding small everyday ways to make life a little happier. Over a set amount of time, 12 months in her first book and a school year, nine months, in her second she picked a specific topic each month, marriage, parenthood, work, body, family… you get the point. The book I read focused specifically on the house and taking action to make it a happier place. I will use this book all month for my blog posts because there is so many amazing tidbits in these books! On a side note, I would highly recommend either one.
As you can imagine I found a lot of joy in reading her section on possessions… Things! Possessions can be a tricky thing. They can bring us great joy or great guilt. Gretchen felt what all of us feel, we want to love our possessions, we don’t want to feel mastered by them.
This is why I do what I do. I work hard everyday to help people break free of their stuff. This doesn’t mean throwing everything away it means honoring what you have and finding meaningful ways to use it, display it or store it. Gretchen nailed by saying, “When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened.” Yes, yes and yes. Don’t strive to throw everything away, in turn creating a stale lifeless home. Enjoy your things and feel enlivened by them. However, when there is so much you don’t know what you have there is no other option than to feel heavy and burdened.
When you embark on an organizing project it’s always good to remind yourself what clutter is and use it as the basis of your decision making process. I love William Morris’s simple explanation, “Have nothing in your house[s] that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful…”
Be ruthless, be honest and start cultivating a space that makes you feel enlivened and happy, powerful and proud. You deserve it!