27 July 2012

Conscious Living: Travel Light

This post is written by contributing author Anabel Bouza. 

Curating the things with which we surround ourselves is key to an artful way of life. The job is never easy, since things have a way of becoming ours and seizing our perfectly vacant space.

traveling light
Illustration by Anabel Bouza


Personally, I have a love of sparsely decorated spaces, those that reserve room to breathe and invite the mind to rest. I also have a very real fear of becoming engulfed in material possessions, weighted down and unable to detach myself from them.

Enter Moving Day! 

For all the uprooting and the stress associated with it, moving is the perfect opportunity for new beginnings and reevaluation. It gives you an excuse to get rid of anything that failed to find its way in to your day-to-day, that didn't improve your life, or isn't emotionally charged.

You probably fear that you'll find a use for it the second it change hands, or as soon as you drop it in the donation bin - a dread of my own! That may be the case, but in your heart of hearts you already know how relevant this particular item is to you. 

I try to answer these questions with fierce honesty:
  • Wouldn't it be nice to feel that much lighter? 
  • Is it time to give someone else the opportunity to bring into their lives this which never quite fit into mine? 
  • Have I outgrown its emotional significance? 
  • In the case of antiques; am I able to properly care for it?

Let's be honest, it's likely that some other alluring object is waiting to occupy this newly vacated spot, but for now, you've given yourself the opportunity to breathe a little easier, to exercise the curator's steady hand, and have moved on toward a more suiting piece - or something just as precious: sheer, promising space


Anabel Bouza insists there's powerful magic in the action of creating something out of a vague vision, a chill of inspiration. She is an illustrator with a passion for nature, paper manipulation, and pointing her camera at things.

Her appreciation for simplicity dates back to a former life in Cuba - her strange homeland - where she refined the ability to see the alternative uses of common objects, and the enchanting side of things. She's often found blogging as
Weird Amiga, hard at work in her sunny studio, or staring at things as if looking at them for the first time. Her tiny family is comprised of her husband & a turtle; they're new to the city of Chicago, and they love it. Connect to Anabel via facebook and twitter.



23 comments:

  1. Great tips! Stopping by from Blogging Buddies.
    Thanks
    Angie
    godsgrowinggarden.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Angie. I hope to see you often!

      Delete
  2. I've been trying to declutter ever since I read about simplifying my life on this blog! I'm doing it one piece at a time, lady!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've always been a bit of a clutterbug. I tend to accumulate lots of things not through buying (unless from charity shops and the like) but through making or recieving as gifts.

    When I first moved out to go to University the dorm room was tiny. And from the dorm I moved to several flats, and from University I have moved about a lot from town to town. I have never stopped being a clutterbug.

    What I have learned though, is the art of giving. If I am sheduled to move, I start giving away to neighbours and friends things they have admired or would find useful. If it is an item that no-one in my circle would want, it goes to an appropriate 2nd hand or charity shop. By the time I move I have generally whittled it down to just a few core treasures, or things that would be difficult to replace in my new home. And a box full of cat toys.

    I have been living in my current place the longest - five years - and the only reason I would find it very difficult to move like this again is because the *craft* equipment takes up the most space, and I don't think I could leave my spinning wheel, loom, or jewellery tools behind!

    Still, I could abandon most of my clutter responsibly in very short order, and have merely upgraded from needing a car to move to a very small van. Need to fit in the box of cat toys of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like you've got the hang of it. I can feel your organized clutter - de-clutter stages and I am glad it works well for you! And that cat that sneaks in through your sentences muct be a very charming creature, worth of her own box of clutter :)

      Delete
    2. We must make sure the toys travel comfortably! ;)

      Delete
  4. Good post--I am related to so many hoarders and pack rats, that it's definitely not just a option, it's mandatory to toss what can't be used or else...you end up with a loot of problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. But the funny thing is that clutter happens when we're not careful and takes time. With time come habits. And habits are hard to change. I think that's the main problem.

      Delete
    2. Lately, I've been trying to modify my habits at the root by being a very selective buyer... It's hard! The world is full of lovable objects, isn't it?

      At the store, I find myself looking at things and thinking "will I want to move this to my next place?"
      Maybe I've been moving too much! :)

      Delete
  5. Good Post. I have the tendency to keep things I think I will use someday or fit into again. Deep down I know I won't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my reasons to generate clutter too but I've noticed that moving often is really a great reason to get rid of them

      Delete
  6. This is a very timely post for me because I'm going through things to donate right now and moving soon! I agree about "room to breathe" and inviting "the mind to rest." It's a challenge in small spaces, and I've never lived in anything but. I hope your move is going/went well, Anabel! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I deal with that challenge constantly, being an apartment dweller myself...
      Good luck with your move!

      Delete
  7. This post has great timing for me too. My house has become overcome with "stuff"...mostly my stuff...mostly my sewing stuff! Ha! I'm going to check out some of your other posts...wish me luck!

    Visiting via the EBT.

    Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck to you Christine! I confess I have a hard time letting go of my crafting materials... I just can't justify it!

      Delete
  8. Nice, I love the illustration.
    I am moving in a few days and I also did some good job with decluttering and organising my stuff... I gave lots of clothes to the charity bin and also got rid of old magazines and recycled loads of stuff. It feels nice, especially when you know it is not going into a dumpster, but to be used again or made into something new.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed!
      The idea that someone else will make good use of your donation helps give that extra incentive to get rid of things. Specially when it comes to nice things we still appreciate, but somehow we've outgrown.

      Isn't it so strange how we have a hard time getting rid of magazines? I knew I wasn't alone! ;)

      Delete
  9. I love these questions. I know I have things I need to get rid of, and these questions are going to be a big help. I am always in the process of trying to declutter. I get a little better at getting rid of things every year, and soon I will have my space just the way I want it.
    Valerie
    Everyday Inspired

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valerie, you should share some of your tips about de-cluttering. I know you are a very organized person and we will learn a lot from you! Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. Anabel, you're writing my exact thoughts! I'm moving cross country in a few weeks, and I've taken this as an opportunity to get rid of everything I don't need, use, and/or really love... which turned out to be most of my stuff. I've given my things to friends and to the Salvation Army stores and sold most of my furniture. The money I've earned from this will be spent on upholstering my fifties chairs.
    I also think we should do some decluttering often, just to make sure that things don't start accumulating again - and before things start becoming too overwhelming.
    Ok, back to the banana boxes... =)

    ReplyDelete
  11. You have a wonderful and very cool blog. There are really lots of advantage when traveling light. Compared with carrying a few bags around, toting a single bag with you will give you the peace of mind that you need. If you are able to get a suitcase that can fit almost everything you have, you are less likely to lose your stuff and personal belongings.


    ReplyDelete
  12. Not to mention, I use lightweight luggage in all my business trips like this, http://thesmartbusinesstraveler.com/packing-light-for-travel/. Keeps me lighter and more flexible too.

    ReplyDelete