“The Purge”

"Diminishing Icecap", 15"x6" 2009 handwoven organic cotton

The chaos that has surrounded my life for the past month or so has been great, but the benefits have been showing their faces in every little corner. One of the biggest benefits of having to pack up and move via a small, compartmentalized Volkswagen Golf has been “the purge”. I have been attempting to move myself and my lifestyle away from materialism and clutter as much as possible by studying and practicing Minimalism where applicable. For many this sounds absurd. For those who have known me for years, this sounds impossible. I come from a family who has a name for random crap and clutter. We all have so much of these knickknacks, scraps of paper and other useless items that we actually have a madeup name for it all: jibbies. Growing up, I was one of the worst offenders of obtaining and holding onto jibbies. My family has always teased me that my jibbies procreated baby jibbies and so forth; until I made the decision that these jibbies were not only unnecessary, but that they were holding me down, consuming and suffocating me. I decided to break free of this hold that “things” had over me. Thus “the purge” was born.

For myself, and many of you, we hold onto items that once held sentimental value, were cherished by us, or believed to have a purpose in the future. These items might be photographs from past times, collections you started in your youth, old clothing that you once felt attractive in, books that have sat on a bookshelf for years and have collected dust, memorabilia and heirlooms, or even household cleaning products and tools that are thought to be useful in the future. But when it comes down to it and those infamous theoretical inquiries of, “what would you grab in the event of a fire?” or “if you were stranded on an island and could have ten things…” do any of these items make your priority list? Odds are that your answer would be “no”.

Moving forced me to do what I have wanted to do for so long. It forced me to re-evaluate all of my possessions and ask those two hypothetical questions. I knew that I did not want to deal with the hassle of packing up (and shipping) a bunch of random stuff, only to unpack it in my new home and feel the heaviness it burdened me with. After all, if it was not part of my few essential items chosen to be crammed into the trunk of my car, then what was its purpose? This is how “the purge” began for me. I can say without any doubt that since this purging of things has begun, it has been nothing but rewarding, calming, and put things in better perspective. Maybe you want to try it?

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