02 August 2013
Pare down and pare some more
The sun is out, the doors are open, there's fresh fruit in the kitchen and... I'm cleaning! I could say the last few months have been an extended exercise in the art of paring down.
Getting rid of things can be a tricky business. Anyone who has packed up to move, whether short or long term, knows what it's like to go through the wardrobe or the bookcases and try to figure out what's necessary to keep, and what can be gotten rid of. When it comes to space limits and the practicality of say, shipping boxes overseas (ahem, cha-ching), the reality of how much I can keep becomes apparent. I've got this to deal with:
And some more that's hidden in various places around the apartment. An eclectic collection...
There's a bit of (my own and others') artwork, too. One large one I started a few years ago and never quite finished, below. I thought I was being clever with the idea that "nothing is black and white." Commence snicker and eye roll.
My parents are loving and generous and are allowing me to keep a few boxes of things in an out-of-the-way closet in their house while I figure out where the non-essentials like my art books and vinyl records should go. It's the stuff I can't bear to get rid of because it's either very valuable, or special in some way, or sentimental. I also find that I'm entering that grey area of "student life" where I'll have a room in a flat for the next year, but after that year is up, I'll invariably be moving again -- and I haven't the foggiest idea where. It's wonderful that I don't have to give up everything I can't take with me.
Today, on my very first proper day off in weeks, I decided to go through my belongings one last time. I've become a bit of a bibliophile in the last four+ years, having worked as a bookseller at a used bookstore where the treasures were really treasures. I tend to lean in the artsy book collecting direction, which of course tends the bookcase toward a mass of oversized, beautiful, sometimes rare and altogether totally impractical books. Well, maybe not totally impractical. ;) I am bound to be an art historian after all, right? ;)
I've been through these shelves and crates before, culling as I went, but I'm down to the tough decisions, and I think I've finally made them. I'm keeping plenty of really wonderful items, but as for the other things that I may have been holding onto simply because I was accustomed to holding onto them, they're going to the used bookstore to find new homes. Some, like my beloved and ancient Salinger will not last much longer no matter what happens to it, since it's basically in pieces as it is.
My cat Porter was kind enough to keep a watchful eye from his overseer's spot on top of the microwave, and I'm happy to be able to spend this beautiful Friday getting some things done (and getting outside a little bit too).
He can be kind of a serious guy. But he may have been frustrated that I hadn't fed him any Fancy Feast yet today. It can make him kind of testy.
Hope everyone has a marvelous weekend!
Days to Edinburgh move-in: 36