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Where We Journal

A series of our inner thoughts, emotions, experiences, encounters, & observations, as we interact with the people of the world

 

Finding Joy in Blank Spaces

Jenny & Adam

NEW YORK, New York // Moving Life Lessons //

We lived by the philosophy that anything we touched is one of three things: Goodwill, Garbage, or Pack. This kept us focused and helped us categorize our things. 

We gave away two-thirds of our posessions and made $485 on craigslist selling furniture. Towards the end I would have given things away if people were willing to carry them down our four flights of stairs. Getting rid of the excess was a liberating exercise that we have decided we will continue every year even if we are not moving. Blank spaces are beautiful. Our empty apartment was simple and elegant. I am not sure why we expand until we fill every nook and cranny with things. I didn't appreciate all the space, natural wood floors, and sunlight we had until it was empty. Emptiness can be powerful. 

There was an experiment I read about which let one group choose from 30 chocolates and the other group pick from 6 different chocolates. In the end the people that only had 6 choices were more satisfied with their decisions. Having less options makes us happier. A great example of this we noticed was with our coffee mugs. Adam has two favorite mugs he always uses. At any one given time we only ever have 4 mugs out of the cabinet yet we had over 30 mugs (just in case 30 friends came over on a cool fall day for a hot chocolate party...who knows). We got rid of 26 mugs and every time I opened the cabinet I was happier. Why hadn't we done this years ago? 

I got a little aggressive with our philosophy in only one instance. Two days before we moved out I decided the shower curtains were garbage. Even with your body pushed against the far wall water still gets everywhere. You live, you learn, and I will never under appreciate the purpose of the shower curtain again. We do need some things.

Less brought me more overall Joy though. Purging also made me a much more conscious consumer. I ask myself constantly, "Will it bring Joy into my life?"