This lovely quote came across my feed reader yesterday.
“If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
— William Morris, “The Beauty of Life”
It is very timely as I pack up our household into boxes large and small. The process of packing belongings can be an eye-opening one.
How many boxes have I packed? Where are the gaps in the house then? There should be great stretches full of nothing but empty space. There isn’t? Gee, I wonder why?
The answer is staring you right in the face, boxes and boxes of things collected over many years. Some of which are still in use and useful, some are simply there just in case. I am beginning to think that the Oh Waily family has accumulated quite a bit of the latter.
Is anyone else out there a paradox wrapped up in skin? I am a closet minimalist. Well, in so far as my minimalism seems to be confined to my mind only and does not appear in the reality of my home. This doesn’t mean I don’t try. But something always seems to get in the way. Oh, that’s right. The Stuff. And The Family.
What is a person to do when other members of the household do not share the same need to be tidy, put things back in their place or throw old and unused items out?
Frankly I don’t know. I haven’t managed to find a solution to that problem in this family. I just get my fix by subscribing to blogs like Unclutterer or Penelope Loves Lists or IHeart Organising or A Little Hut. Fine, so the last one is a bit left field since it’s a craft blog but check out the paper craft, it is so minimal as to be the embodiment of clean, crisp lines with only highlights of colour for effect. In other words, peaceful. Messy houses full of stuff are not peaceful.
Being an INFJ I need peace, quiet, organisation and orderliness. Living in a riotous home is something of a challenge to that need. But that is what you get when you have children, especially while they are little. I can, and do try to control their environment for their own development as well as my peace of mind. They, however, are just as quick to reverse any reduction in toy mess I try to make. In the interests of marital harmony I will make no comments here regarding Mr Oh Waily in any way.
All of this packing and the observations that go with it are inspiring me to attempt an experiment. I am seriously considering putting a large amount of the boxes into temporary storage and only bringing home those that we discover we need or want. Seriously.
I’m not sure how well this idea will be received by other family members, but it is certainly a possibility. This might be my best chance to do a toy cull without the smallest Oh Wailys noticing.
Hmm. Things to think about.
I’ll let you know what I decide to do when we move in.
Do you have a “useful” and “beautiful” clause to meet before you bring new things home?
I’d love to hear how you deal with stuff in your home.
Today in history: 1757 – William Blake was born. (British poet)
A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.
– William Blake