Downsizing: stage three.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

–William Morris, a textile designer from the 1800s

In the first stage of downsizing, we moved into a two-bedroom apartment. The second stage was emptying the storage unit we rented when we moved into the apartment. I’m now in the midst of the third stage of downsizing.

It’s no longer about storage or efficiency. Everything fits nicely in our apartment. I feel this need, probably thanks to Pinterest, to create spaces which are more minimal. I want to appreciate every item I have around me.

I started with the kitchen:

kitchen

I got rid of everything that was on top of the upper cabinets. I stored the cookbooks in the bottom cabinets. I kept the plates on the walls because I love them for their simplicity, but also because they belonged to my mother and grandmother. They have good memories attached to them. I know my mother touched them, and even though I’m not a very good cook I hope her things will channel a little good grace my way. The refrigerator still has photos and artwork on it, but it’s a start.

That’s where I am: in the middle. Just the little bit I’ve done makes me feel more calm. I’m struggling with finding a medium between minimalism and a comfortable home. Combining both beautiful and useful means balance between those two things.

Downsizing

Downsizing — sounds easy enough. Just move to a smaller place and get rid of the stuff you don’t need or use. It ain’t easy losing weight.

We moved from a three-bedroom home to a two-bedroom apartment. We had a huge deck with multiple sets of outdoor furniture, not to mention all the items you need to mow the lawn and keep up the landscaping. Going cold turkey was not an option, so we rented a detached one-car garage at our apartment complex. There is where we put all the Christmas decorations, and there is where I went yesterday evening– to retrieve the twelve plastic containers of decorations and the Christmas tree (which we had cleverly put together to store it vertically in the garage).

Most of the boxes are full of Dickens Village pieces:

IMG_2301

I didn’t buy any of these pieces. They were gifts, and I loved them when I received them. Now I stare at them and wonder if I have the patience to find a place for them this Christmas. I also wonder if paying a monthly fee to store them is really downsizing. Of course I have all that outdoor furniture in the garage too.

What to do. What to do.