Friday, April 27, 2012

Words, Words, Words about the Necessary

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Hans Hofmann

The title of my stamping/cardmaking blog is Simplicity. That's the style I aspire to in a crafting world increasingly dedicated to more: more layers, more embellishments, more tools, more inks, more colors, more, more, more. I also aspire to simplicity in my life, but as I've written before, expanding my simple approach is, well, a seemingly impossible challenge.

I feared moving to a bigger house would create an excuse to store more stuff, to keep stuff just in case because, dang, there's a lot of room in this house so why not? This fear blossomed in my stomach every time I thought about George and the boys, all of whom are hoarders, but I'm guilty of hoarding as well, guilty of keeping things because they might be useful later, of holding on to sentimental things that no longer make me happy.

Today, I'm going to recommit to purging the unnecessary so the necessary may speak, so I don't spend so much time containing my clutter and managing other people's clutter. It's a huge job, but as George has said, you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

What areas of your life need a good purge? Why do you purge? What keeps you from purging?


  1. Several areas in our home need purging but NOT my sacred stamping area!

    I purge because I like to "unclutter".

    My husband keeps me from purging. Much as I love him, he is a true hoarder at heart.

    Last summer we purged a lot - in our basement, kitchen cupboards and garage. I laugh because every once in a while John will say "We got rid of too much stuff." If you saw our basement and garage, it looks like its all still there. I hope we don't die on our upcoming trip - our kids will hate us when they have to dispose of everything.

  2. We thought we were moving this summer (9th since we've been married) but we're here another year. I was looking forward to purging but I think I plan on going room to room and really asking myself what we use and what is taking up space. I think having less frees you and I want that freedom.

  3. I went through a divorce five years ago after 32 years of marriage. Purging of stuff had to happen whether I wanted it to or not. It wasn't easy; but I find I like my lighter space.

    Now, after being in a new home and life with a new husband; I find that I have to be careful or the stuff will come creeping back. I too tend to be a hoarder.

    Clothes are hard for me to purge; they cost so dang much and you have such hope when you buy them. Then they disappoint you because they shrink or pill. Or they don't go with anything or are completely the wrong color.

    A girlfriend said that if you don't purge; it's hard to justify to your husband that you need new clothes. They see closets and drawers full and can't understand that you only wear a third of what's there.

    I try hard now to purge as I switch out winter for summer and summer for winter. That's coming up here really soon. I am not looking forward to it.

    Especially because I have been out shopping lately and hate the stuff I see.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Great question, Susan. I need to purge my closet - still have some of my work suits which I have not worn in 13 years! Think the cost of it all is the hold back, but will find one of those charities that helps people get back on their feet with interview training and a suit for the interview. Basement is the bain of my life. So easy to just put things down there and leave them. This summers big project - and I'll have helpers when they say "I'm bored" as they will all of a sudden have something to do LOL!

  5. Well, Susan, I love seeing homes with little on tables and walls, yet my home is filled with "treasures" galore. I have purged many times. I still see no shelf, no wall, no table, nothing that you could call minimalistic. I make myself watch Hoarders to get motivated. It works for a while.
    This next month I plan to concentrate on going through the basement to toss, donate to the church rummage sale, or give away stuff I haven't seen in years. Since I got a washer/dryer upstairs I hardly go into the dungeon anymore. Wish me luck and if you don't hear from me in a month, send reinforcements!

  6. I have gone through my craft room twice in the past 6 months. Both times, I took things to work and sold them. This last time, I was ruthless: unless I absolutely loved it AND had used it fairly recently, into the purge pile it went. After work last week, I loaded everything into the back of my truck and off to Goodwill I went. Stamps, paper, card magazines, embellishments - you name it.

    As I was driving back home, I saw a bumper sticker on the car in front of me: "Simplify your life."

    I said to myself, with a huge smile, "I just did."

    The incredible lightness of being.

  7. I have been trying to purge my craft room for many months as part of the process of reorganizing it. It is so hard to do!!! But I'm working on it. What makes it difficult is the thought "I spent money on this stuff - I might decide to use it even though my style of card-making and knitting has evolved to something different". The hardest part is all the dp I bought because it was lovely, but I've discovered I'm not very good at using it even though I really like the patterns!

    When I retired three years ago, my sister (who is the champion of purging and a model for simplicity in the home) came to visit and she went through all my clothes with me. Her mantra was "you will no longer wear these clothes but there are people out there who desperately need them so let them go". And she was right - out of the four huge green garbage bags of clothes I took to charity, there is only one item I regret getting rid of!


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!