Monday, December 14, 2009

What's the best change you made to the place you live this year?

Post inspired by Day 13 of Gwen Bell’s December blogging challenge

I live in a very small apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  Its not the smallest apartment, that would be this one, but it isn't a lot of space for two people, two dogs, and frequent house-guests.    I have to purge about twice a year, or I'll go insane. 

 I've been inspired by the great de-cluttering posts on Communicatrix's blog, as well as her book recommendation, Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer.  I also love Karen Kingston's Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.  Both books give insight into what goes on emotionally when we hoard stuff. 

The often arduous process of finding new homes for my underused things has made me more conscious of my purchases, and even of the gifts I accept.  I've pared down a lot.

The deepest purge I've ever done was this last one.    I took a look at my bookshelves and thought, 'I can't possibly get rid of one more book.' But I didn't have space on the shelf for the box that stores the first handwritten draft of a novel I'm working on.  I was subconsciously telling myself that my own writing didn't belong on a bookshelf.  A bunch of books found new homes.

The moment I started this purge, my outworn relationships began to shift too.  I found myself letting go of some people, reconfiguring my relationships with others.  The process is still going on, and is likely to take awhile, but the new found clarity in my relationships feels even more freeing than the extra three feet of space available for yoga asanas.

How about you?  What was your best change in the place you live this year?  If you are part of the Best '09 challenge, I'd love it if you'd leave a link to your blog, and if not, write your answer in the comments.


Danielle said...

I'm all about Feng Shui and clearing clutter. Love the Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui book too. Isn't it amazing how much energy it can shift?

My answer to your question is here on day 13:

And I'm sure your novel does belong on that bookshelf!

the communicatrix said...

I'm so delighted that my combing through my own crap was helpful as you combed through yours.

I've gotten an enormous amount of support--from Brooks, and others--and I think it's pretty critical for projects like these. That stuff is *sticky*, boy howdy.

The manuscript story is beautiful. What an analogy-in-action, huh?

Brooks_Palmer said...

I'm glad your book got a place in your book shelf. I love hearing stories about people giving themselves space.

Lately I've been clearing out songs I no longer listen to on my itunes. I figured I got to enjoy them up till now. I feel appreciative they were part of my life for a while. It feels quieter after I deleted them. I like the peace.

wholly jeanne said...

i love feng shui and the occasional purging. funny how it does, as you mention here, create space for something new. i haven't yet written about changes to my place. we moved in 2009, so it's a big things for me, all the changes. i'm working ont he post, and hope to get it finished by the end of this year!

Kate Temple-West said...

Thanks for the cheering from everyone, and I'm looking forward to reading that post wholly jeanne!

Diane Marie said...

You inspire me. I have a hard time working creatively when my studio is in a state of squalor, which it generally is, to some degree or other. Sometime just emptying the trash and recycling can get me going. There's so much stuff jammed in there, and I find uses for it, sooner or later. My big thing is, I have to stop bringing new stuff IN. Get the OUT flow going faster than the influx!