Wednesday, 30 December 2015

House Cleaning/A Splendid Read

And there was the self help book...... oh dear, I don't usually go for them, but there was something about this one, I got impatient and bought it on Kindle, a second pet peeve, Kindle that is, and read it in more or less one sitting. It usually is that way when a book is exactly what you need at the given time. 

The book was by a Japanese lady, an expert in how to reduce the amount of overabundance (read clutter) in our houses. I must say I feel pretty lucky winning the global lottery of where I'm born, but living in a house where three generations of "hamsters" have lived, is rather overwhelming. There are so many things (read - a lot of garbage is most certainly part of it) that the quality of life suffers. I do not need half of it!!

I live in a house as a third generation "hamster" - and believe me, I love the house. I love the traces of my grandfather, my father's darkroom, the airy basement, the good workmanship, even the lack of storage space (sort of). Now it has a fresh coat of colour that suits it to a tee as well, finally a well moved lawn, a new fence, so there was a start, and I had a late night looking on an online bookshop after finishing working on some pics. I can not remember how I found the book, I think it found me and it felt like it was much needed. So I scoured Kindle, it did no seem to be there at first, but all of a sudden..... 

Marie Kondo - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying

Sometimes I think I may be the only clutter bug in the whole world or maybe not, as people always complain when moving house or when loosing a relative, having to clean out their place. Here there were no deaths, for which I am very, very thankful, but more of a rebirth, or the start of one. Ms. Kondo writes that a thorough house cleaning/decluttering takes about six months and is a once in a lifetime job. I have used about three months so far, going fairly slowly as the work must not be exhausting. 

The author has one criteria for keeping or recycling - does the possession make you happy? Hold it in your hand and ask yourself the question, and if no, recycle. I can assure you, that very few things here make me feel that way. She also talks about honing decision making skills by starting with easier items, like textiles, that is usually not something that is highly personal (I come from a textile family, so for me it was somewhat more difficult, but still pretty OK). Then I go on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, small change (into my wallet), sentimental items (decision making skills here!), photos and last - you know in your heart when you are truly finished. She also have tips on how to store small items in drawers, how to make your clothes look good in the cupboard and giving each thing it's own place, so it is easy to find and put away (not generate clutter). She also recommends to wait until you have finished with all your decluttering and recycling before buying containers for storage - and you may not need them, by the way. 

So after this shameless praise for Ms. Kondo's book, what has happened so far here: 

Life has gotten easier, I'm beginning to se the end of housecleaning and there seem to be the right amount of things in my flat, or rather the beginning of a right amount, I'm not finished just yet. 

I can't wait until bin-day anymore. Every time a bin-full of clutter disappears, I feel hugely relieved.

Giving a garagefull of attic filling to Norwegian Oxfam, feels pretty good. There were some nice things in there. 

Getting rid of the not-so-good memories - personal one, but I get happier when surrounding myself with only things that make me happy. 

Remembering where (practically) everything I own is, is a very, very nice bonus. 

Have room to live and breathe, it feels like, for the first (!) time. 

Being somewhat embarrassed about owning so much, but the process of giving away, makes it much harder to buy anything. I honestly believe the author's claim that one gets less materialistic after reducing what one owns to a minimum. 

Worrying less about the future. Strangely enough, or not so strange really, reducing the amount of possessions is an exercise in trust. By not hoarding, I tell myself that things just might not fall apart tomorrow. I still keep some rice, water and a few other things in the basement, but I agree with Ms. Kondo's idea about letting go of attachment to the past and anxiety about the future when getting rid of the unnecessary possessions. It was a strange thing to clean the attic - my father's suits, my rather thundercloud grandmother's rather thundercloud-looking dresses, me realizing that things I had bought had been a total wast of time. I cried a lot when throwing them out. It was also very strange to give away my doll carriage, but I do not have children and will never have any, so it was a great feeling to give it to some wonderful neighbors whose grandchildren enjoy them. 

I need a break over Christmas, but I can't really wait to continue. My home now looks like a home and I love that. Soon there will be good lamps everywhere and I got a new sofa, my first grown up/chosen by me/lovely sofa. The guinea pigs have a new, good habitat, my habitat is becoming my home. 

And just as an end to this, my version of Delenda est Carthago - Go vegetarian ! Just to say it once more, it can not be said too often. To not be interested in politics, I'm very interested in politics - save a sentient life, eat fruit, vegs, eggs from happy chicken kept in your back yard (or a friend's) and enjoy 2016 - even in grey weather - we are alive, after all. 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Px3 People's Choice - third place

Link to Px3 - oh dear, I do not know - it has been the year of awards for me, it is nice, I hope something will come out of it some way or another.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

8TH Julia Margaret Cameron Awards

Got an email telling me I'm finalist in the Cell Phone class and the Landscapes class.

Cell phone pictures from Smoke:

Nature picture from Installation as far as I can remember:

They say gallery will be up on Tuesday in their email, so not just yet.

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