I totally believe that living without an abundance of personal possessions for an extended period of time is the first step we ought to take in order to realize that we don’t need ever-more stuff.
If you do this — if you will give up your stuff for a while — I am sure you’ll never go back. You’ll spend the rest of your life creating a more valuable life, instead of wasting your money and time on stuff. You will be glad. And best of all, the people around you will be blessed by your efforts to prioritize more meaningful pursuits.
In the fall of 2010 I entered into a discussion with friend and poet, Jude Vollmer, to find a project for collaboration. Through monthly meetings we came to the idea to take a container and live from it for one month. Initially, we were going to do it simultaneously but Jude began using her container on May 11, 2011, before I was ready to start. She is so pleased with the experience that she continues to use her container.
As in most of my projects, this is totally self-imposed. I make all of the rules, plan and carry out all the actions and push myself to completion for no obvious good reason other than having made the commitment. I am writing about this process to be more aware of my motives, clearer about my actions and expose my method for others to ponder.
Today, I am ready to embark on the project. How will I begin? I need a deadline for filling the container, a way to decide what I want, and a ritual for the beginning and ending.
My container is a large Walnut Armoire. I bought it at an antique store on Perry Highway for $350.00 in 1978. It is held together with 6 screws. For its life with me it first housed records, tapes and listening devices and then was transformed to host an ever-changing parade of quilts.
Here is the empty container that I will fill with my most meaningful possessions.