It’s hard to believe after the winter we’ve had, but tomorrow marks the first day of Spring. The spring equinox marks the official end of winter (yay); the day when the sun aligns directly over the earth’s equator. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. On this day, twice a year (once in the spring, once in the fall), the length of day and night are the same. These celestial tipping points have been observed for thousands of years and have given rise to a considerable body of seasonal folklore and annual traditions such as the restoration of crop supply, Passover, Easter Sunday, baseball’s opening day, etc.
Spring has been celebrated throughout human history as a time of organic and spiritual rebirth. A lot of us will start planning our gardens and plantings as well as focusing on the annual ritual of spring cleaning. I’ll be doing both, but will be looking at the two tasks a bit differently this year.
I recently read a quote that hit me where I live….literally. The quote was William Morris’ maxim, “Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” It made me realize that most of what I have doesn’t adhere to this mantra. Here are 6 tips for going minimalist:
1. Have a goal when you begin – Consider how you want your home to look. Browse images and ideabooks and look for themes. Only after you’re clear on what you’re shooting for should you begin to purge.
2. Prepare yourself for feeling overwhelmed and unsure - When you get rid of things, you’ll focus on what you paid for an item. You might feel guilty about the money you’ve wasted, but holding onto stuff you don’t want or need is not the answer.
3. Get help - Do you have a friend/relative who loves to organize? Ask for their help and consider what you can offer them as gratitude. It helps to have an impartial viewpoint to make better sense of what needs to go.
4. Sell, give, or throw things away – Put some of those items with real or perceived value on eBay or Craigslist. If they don’t sell right away, take them to Goodwill or put them on the curb for someone else that might need or want them.
5. Allow yourself some time (but not too much) –Plan to give yourself a couple of weeks. Going room by room keeps the mess contained and the project more manageable. Take a day or two to do a room and then move on.
6. Ask yourself what you would grab in a fire – It’s an abstract question, but can be a helpful exercise in figuring out what should and should not stay.
Planning a garden:
This is something that I have done every year for the past 5 years. It’s rewarding to have some plants and herbs growing outside that I can pick and use when cooking my favorite recipes. Running outside to snag some fresh oregano for a homemade pizza seems a lot more appropriate that shaking dried flakes from a jar. However, I’ve been seeing photos like this that make me eager to do more….and maybe piss my neighbors off in the process.
After all, why not grow a garden instead of a lawn?!
Post by Will Knight