Curating The Collection

Cool Hive Daily - Sanctuary Sunday
If we love beautiful hand-crafted things how do we reconcile that with decluttering? The value of archives and memory against the new digital life that can fit into an Iphone can feel confusing. How do we house train this two-headed monster?
How do we respect the past while moving with ease into the future?

Personally, I don't think of my items as clutter, clutter is newspapers you need to throw out. Art is a celebration of the genius of humankind. I tend to celebrate a bit too much so I have been trying to reduce the waistline of my art. I have traveled extensively studying crafts of all sorts and often collect things from those artisans. It has been a feast of lovely things that I have become the custodian of. My memory and their craft are deeply entwined. I believe if you want to keep things you have to respect them, tell their story and celebrate the wonder. I’ve To do that I in and out of flow. This allows the object to stay in meaningful flow. When things are messy or neglected they are out of flow. So keep the stuff you love and dust it off and celebrate it when your done celebrating it send it back into the flow through gifting, consignment, and recycling. Journalling can help with this, as sometimes it is hard to get clear on our relationship with things. Things are often a relationship with our memory, so take a picture, write a poem and turn your stuff into a personal blog that you can visit, then let go. Let go because it can help you be more liberated and vibrant and happy.

I have been working hard tackling the last of my old business, which is reflected, in two storage units of art and product designs. I am continuing to reduce what was once three warehouses, two showrooms so to fit into one well-curated 20-foot container that is very organized and pleasant. A tiny museum to my design past that has all the extraneous stuff culled. This takes time and it is easy to procrastinate as each day is already full of new wonder. Realistically the Daisy Arts Storage Atelier of luxury Italian linens, leather-bound books, fine pens don't have a lot of direct application in the new digital uncluttered world. Pages don't get turned or filled with pen strokes, photos don't land in leather photo albums. So should a physical record be kept? I am still not sure but I do know that it needs to be refined and curated into something manageable.

I have tried to approach this process by breaking it into smaller achievable goals and you may want to try this approach. Start with old clothes and books and find a bookseller and consigner near you. What they don't consign, donate. On Clement St in SF we have Green Apple books and if they don't take the books The Internet Archive is just down the street. The Archive will scan books, music, films and make them available for the whole world to use. I use bins to sort clothes and home consignment things and it feels great once I have made the effort to drop them off. It's like going to the gym just a different kind of exercise for the soul. I take pictures of what I give them and it is a reasonable record of the things I loved moving back into the flow and I feel a whole lot lighter. But remember clutter can also be digital, so make albums on your phone.

Cleaning and culling items will make space for new memories. Buying and selling to vintage and consignment stores reduce the amount of waste that goes into the environment and can give you a bit of extra money for something fun. Refashioning, recycling and reusing in new and creative ways makes you your own designer and not someone else's label.

We live in a world full of stuff. Research shows that all this stuff is not making us happy and it is also putting a big strain on the environment. Sorting your closet and your relationship with things is as important as good nutrition. Scaling back will help the environment and most likely help you too.

Try to start by sitting, take ten deep breaths and meditate for 60 seconds, then stand up and fill a shopping bag with stuff to give away. Repeat until fully cleansed and liberated in my case this may take a lifetime. Photo by Logan Nolan@unslplash

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