The weeks leading up to the move were fantastic. Partly just because I was moving (I’d wanted out of that particular apartment from the day I moved in). But the big thing, the thing that I was most aware of, was that it was an opportunity to get rid of stuff.
Every box I packed made me feel a little better. Every garbage or recycling bag filled. Every trip to donate a bag of clothes or a box of tchotchkes. Even before the actual move, just the act of getting things out of my sight, clearing the slate, made me feel amazing.
Of course, I still have too much stuff. It was painfully obvious (literally) during the actual move, but only really sunk in in the days after, as I started to unpack and tried to find places for everything to go. I came close to tears, cursing whoever had designed the kitchen cabinets. The tension that had faded a little more every time I taped up another box of books was slowly creeping back.
I call myself a minimalist, but it’s usually with a certain amount of irony—an aesthetic ideal that I’ve never really hoped to reach. If you’ve ever glanced at my ‘interiors’ board on Pinterest you know I’m obsessed with pristine white rooms, but that was the extent of it. It wasn’t really a philosophy. But as I started to unpack and settle into the new place, I started to realize that I really am happier when I’m not surrounded by so much stuff.
(This is actually one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get back to writing here: the office has been a bit of a catch-all while the rest of the apartment is put in order, and I couldn’t stand being in there until recently. It’s still not great, but I can deal with it now. More on the other reasons in a moment.)
So, that’s my project for the next few months: paring things down even further, figuring out what I actually need and what I just think I need, and how to make the rest of it feel less oppressive. Finding the perfect shade of white paint, because builder’s beige makes me sad.
I’m starting here.
First of all, if you’re reading this on the actual site (instead of a newsreader), you’ve noticed the overhaul. I know how soon it seems—the site’s only been up for a couple of months. But the old design didn’t work with what I want to do with the site (which has become clearer in the last few weeks), and it really didn’t work with how visitors were using the site. So, for now, I’m bringing things back to a more traditional blog format; it’s not a permanent solution, but it’ll do for now, and it will lead nicely into what I want to do later.
Second, I’m changing my posting schedule. ‘What posting schedule?’ you ask. There was one planned, but it was both overambitious and unfocussed, and I should have known that there was no way I’d be able to keep up with it. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve refined my plans, and I’m fully confident that you’ll be seeing new posts a few times a week.
I’m still sorting things out—here and in the apartment—and you’ll have to forgive me any strangeness that occurs while I figure out exactly what’s going on.