Saturday, February 28, 2009

Clutter vs simplicity

I am always torn by a desire to acquire stuff and the urge to pare down and keep things spare and simple.

I have been waging this battle for years. And the "stuff" always wins. Every time I move I shed things and start again with basics.

With a few choice pieces I love and need occupying suitable space in this small apartment, I don't really have room for much more. There are, however, a couple of non-choice items that just might go into the garbage very soon. To make room for other things.

I've noticed that people are not always quite as possessive about their material things as one might think.

For instance, I fell madly in love with a friend's bookcases a few months ago. They are tall and elegant, made of dark wood with glass doors. Quite suitable for a law office or venerable accounting firm. At the time, my friend said Oh no! He'd never part with them. But as he has also been reorganizing his space and acquiring new stuff, he has since sold me two of them. I'm waiting for delivery.

At the farm where I work part-time, I espied a lovely antique headboard leaning against a wall. I asked the owner if she'd ever consider selling it. She said, Not really, but what do you think of bartering for it?

In another 14 hours (that is to say, after 14 more hours of "unpaid" work) that headboard will be mine.

I don't even have room for the bookcases. But I want them - actually, if I rationalize quickly, I need them... for books and CDs that are still packed in boxes. Which will free up closet space for, um, other stuff.

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