Friday, October 3, 2014

Learning to Live in a Much Smaller Place

I have over 45 big photo albums. I’ve been taking pictures since the 1970s when my kids were little, plus I have old photos from when I was a child. These albums have been taking up shelf space for years and now that I’m thinking about downsizing, something has to go.

Last night I got two big tote boxes and packed 15 albums so far. My heavens, those boxes are heavy! Later I watched an episode of NH Chronicle on TV. They had a segment on “doll” houses, basically shed-sized cabins, in which some people are now choosing to live and because of the small size, it is minimalist living.

I couldn’t imagine living in anything that small alone, let alone live with someone. Some of them a basically hotel room size; OK for a night or two, but not suitable for spend much time in. However, watching that show has certainly helped me make decisions on my own downsizing.

No. 1 is the fact that I am an artist. My life revolves around my art in all its aspects: writing, photography, drawing, painting, and multimedia. That means I want to pare out anything that does not pertain to my art and personal items.

And that means anything else has to be seriously considered! I’ve lived in good-sized houses for many years now. My “stuff” has spread out into all the rooms and as a multimedia artist, anything and everything can be saved for an art project… which is something I must seriously curb. I can’t save everything, especially as the multimedia is currently the medium farthest down on the list of things I do.

So this morning I got up thinking about all the photos and albums. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I think I want to go through them and throw out photos that are not good or no longer have meaning. If I am lucky, I can downsize to about half. This won’t be just about throwing away pictures, but deleting physical albums and combining the leftover pictures. (No one cares about these pictures… not even me, really.) Still, they are pictures of the kids growing up, pictures of me when I was little and pieces of my life.

And I will feel better cutting down on the space these albums take up. It’s one more step in the downsizing and it needs to be done before I can move.