The Useful and Beautiful Things of Life

Everyone seems to be getting into the Marie Condo spirit, going through their homes and getting rid of what doesn’t spark them joy (and isn’t, you know, things like their 2018 W2). I haven’t watched her show nor read her books, but I certainly see the appeal. Why hold onto something just because you bought it or it was given to you? Why keep something because you may possibly, someday use it. I like the way William Morris put it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. I would extend the “you” to “you and anyone you share your space with” so you’re not tempted to, say, rid your house of the ten colanders your spouse has hanging above your sink.

I’m one of those folks who loves to clear through things and give /  toss sell what doesn’t meet the useful or beautiful criteria. Except I’m sometimes harsh in what I get rid of. I got rid of all of my quilting supplies – and I mean all, even my straight pins were given away – after a single year of not using themJust a few weeks later, I wished I’d held on to at least a bit of that to make something.

So, in 2019, I’m trying to approach both my clearing out of stuff and purchasing with more intention. For a new purchase: Do I really need this? Do I need it right now or can I wait for a sale? How much do I really want it? Am I buying this because it’s here or it’s on sale or I feel like I should want it/have it? For getting ride of things: Has it been over a year since I used this? Do I anticipate needing it in the next year? Is there a legal or sentimental reason to keep it?

All of this is a round-about way of getting to what I did today – I stopped working on a project in a given yarn because, well, it’s a pain to work with and will likely be too scratchy for wear next to the skin.  This brings us to the big question: Keep or let go?

Let’s walk through Morris’s questions, shall we? Useful? Well, yes, but only as a source of entertainment for me. I live in a house with heat and don’t spend a great deal of time outdoors where I’d be happy to have an itchy shawl because it was so cold. Beautiful? Eh, colors are nice but not particularly uncommon. Then mine: When did I buy this? Fall 2017, in London. I’ve tried to use it multiple times but it was so scratchy I always put it aside in a day or two. Do I anticipate needing it? Nope. Legal reason to keep? Nope. (Wouldn’t it be weird if there was?) Sentimental? Bought when I was with a friend at Loop of London, but I talk to her often and have other mementos of that trip.

Into the “things to put up on Buy Nothing group” pile…

 

 

1 thought on “The Useful and Beautiful Things of Life”

  1. You should watch the first two episodes of Marie Kondo. I really enjoyed it. I’m reading her book now. I think her most groundbreaking idea is not just the ‘spark joy’ thing, but by decluttering in categories you can better tidy up. For example, if you go room by room you might have craft supplies in two different rooms so you hit those twice and thus don’t truly know what you have. The most obvious example used in the show is everyone putting allllll of their clothes from all over the house into one pile and realizing they have 20 jackets and 10 white shoes and the stack just overwhelming them.

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