Shifting spaces

(Written on Monday, July 15th, 2013)

After searching through a couple bags of dry goods, I finally found the bagels. I shuffled back through the disheveled items on the floor in our one-butt-kitchen and grabbed the peanut butter from the fridge. Since the flatware is God knows where, I used my pocket knife to smear the creamy goodness onto the bagel. Transitionary times like these, in the post-move recovery zone, remind me how simple life could be. Without the use of civilized utensils, the pocket knife my grandpa gave me more than 10 years ago, serves as an ample tool.

I imagine my grandpa’s early life was unencumbered by the minutia we gorge ourselves on today. Though his family suffered through the Depression, I would welcome the simplicity of his era. They owned one outfit, maybe two pairs of each item. They bought produce at the local market or farm, bought their meat from the local rancher or ate what they were able to kill while hunting. Their were no superfluous items in their house, just well built, long-lasting tools. Everything had purpose and intention.

Before our move, we held a very successful garage sale (nearly selling out in the first four hours of the day), took several loads to Goodwill, and dedicated as much energy as we could to sorting and tossing. Even still, for not having much stuff (compared to most), we have a lot of shit. This became immediately apparent once everything was crammed into our new space. We moved out of a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with a garage and space to spare, into a small, 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment, no room to spare. In addition, we’ve rented a small storage unit to essentially accommodate for all of our gear (camping, hiking, skiing, etc.).

Neither of us have packrat tendencies, nor are we all that materialistic. However, as we engaged in an intimate, grueling, dance with each and every item we own over the last week, we started to talk more seriously about a more simple life. A life with less stuff. A life full of experiences rather than objects. What if each room is allotted one bin, maybe two? If we have more than what will fit in the bins, do we really need it? What if the potential life of every item we owned matched our own potential life? Quality over quantity. Functional fashion. Multi-use and multi-purpose.

As I sit here on the couch, surrounded by boxes and not yet utilized furniture, the trees outside the window are rustling in the breeze and the birds are happily chirping amongst the branches. Sunlight is flooding the apartment and my music is playing softly in the background. I am content to rest today. Rather than fuss over the chaos of my surroundings, I am going to absorb the nuances of my day and contemplate what I must have and what I might live without.

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Erin Anacker

I'm Erin Anacker, founder of pixology—a nimble little business infiltrating the design industry as an ardent voice for entrepreneurship and community. As a Tri Cities transplant, I am still finding my way, working extra hard at cultivating meaningful relationships. Luckily, I've happened upon a wonderful, growing community. These creative thinkers and entrepreneurial minded people are helping light the way, with passion and encouragement.

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  • Becca Lingley

    I’ve read a few books on minimalism and I think it is a beautiful potential way to live.

  • Suzy Garza Higley

    Yes. I agree. I feel the weight of all our belongings and would love to lighten the load.

  • Lou Galindo

    I love this. One of the best things about our move last year was being forced to purge and get rid of all the stuff that we no longer used or needed, and was just taking up space. Even so, I still feel like we could get rid of even more if we really tried.

  • Oh really? I would love to hear what you’ve absorbed from those!

  • I find it cathartic. It’s amazing to me how little we truly *need* in order to live comfortably and be sated. Once you start questioning why you feel attached to an object, whether or not you truly need it or find value in it, I think the answer will surprise you.

  • I say go for it! Purge!

  • Shenoa Lawrence

    I am currently sitting in my new office amongst a pile of boxes. Each box I unpack makes me wish I’d spent more time and ruthlessness in sorting before the move.

  • morgan haines

    I’m still trying to picture you carrying around a pocketknife… 🙂

  • Ha! You’ve only seen a couple sides of me; I am multifaceted. 😀