Over the last few months, I have become interested in consuming fewer material goods. Along with the desire to consume less, came the desire to declutter my home and life. I wouldn't consider myself a hoarder, but I do like to "collect" things and stuff. Some of the things I like to collect are paper crafting supplies...and when I start collecting the "I-need-to-have-this-in-every-shape-and-color" monster takes over. The next I know, my dining room/craft room/office looks like Michael's and Barnes & Noble had a death match and neither won.
As a crafter and budding artist, I am always looking for ways to spark creativity in my artistic process. One thing I know about myself as an artist is that I need to hold myself accountable. I am the queen of big ideas and lofty goals with a side of lukewarm follow through. So, one day while browsing Powell's Books online I found "365 A Daily Creativity Journal" by Noah Scalin. The premise of the book is that the reader/artist commits to creating something every day for 365 days. I loved the idea and purchased the book immediately. Since I like to dabble in many different creative mediums -- writing, doodling, crocheting, cooking, baking, drawing, painting, etc., it was difficult to choose a focus for my project. I wanted to have fun, grow as a person, challenge myself, be uncomfortable (sometimes), and learn.
One night, mulling over my list of possible creative endeavors, a quiet idea voiced itself..."hey, you have a lot of stuff, and sometimes your clutter stresses you out to the point you want get rid of EVERYTHING right then, which is unrealistic...sooooo why don't you make decluttering your 365 project?"
I wondered how I would/could bring this brilliant (and scary) idea to fruition. I knew the first step was to come up with a set number of items to part with on daily basis. I wanted a number that would make a difference after a year, but that wouldn't be unfeasible from day-to-day. I settled on the number 5. After 365 days, I will have 1,825 less items in my home.
The next step was to set some "rules" for myself, otherwise I would cheat and find loopholes that made the cheating not cheating. So here are my rules for myself and my project.
1) Every day I will find five items/objects to either donate or throw away.
2) Garbage and recyclables do not count as items/objects.
3) I will document my five items on this blog daily. I may take a picture or I may just write a list.
4) I will explain my choices because reasoning with myself helps me make difficult decisions.
5) I will not shy away from difficult items -- sentimentality is not a reason to keep something
for years and years...it's the memories that count, not the object or thing.
6) I will not beat myself up if I can't get rid of something the first time I try because this project is
about growth and change, not perfection.