Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm Selling Nearly All My Stuff! And it's Bringing Back my Creativity and Main Missions

This year it's been challenging to stay creative outside of my store and product line. Every ounce of my energy went into infrastructure work; accounting, inventory, employee training, etc. This is ON TOP of formulating and bottling our product, graphic design, web work, labeling, marketing and merchandising.

This exhausted me creatively. Blog posts slowed. I went from taking daily photos to hiding my DSLR for months. Before my new business took off I was setting up professional online shops for others. I LOVE crafting beautiful shops for creatives, but it wasn't until later that I realized this meant my well of creativity was bone dry before I even opened my shop.

Nearly everything I own outside of clothing and work stuff is stored in this credenza, which will also be sold!

We're getting more caught-up, thankfully! Yet when I decided to move production back to my apartment I was forced the face the truth, while juggling business tasks I'd let my supplies get horribly cluttered.  I gave myself some time on July fourth to put my business supplies away KonMari method style. I did a swift KonMari method run of the whole house taking the longest time on my work stuff, putting hundreds of bottles and labels away neatly and accessibly.

Getting organized the KonMari way felt so amazing, as it always does, that I started devouring more media on minimalism. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism named after the book of the same name was so compelling I went out (using money I earned recently selling a table I'd sold, haha) to buy the book immediately! I consider it the spiritual successor to Marie Kondo's famous books on the KonMari method. It's for those who want to take minimalism to another level, to challenge themselves mentally and spiritually to live a life without extra Stuff.

In the upper left of the photo above is a pile of stuff I'm going to sell. I'm finally ready to sell a lot of paintings and extra bits I've been hanging on to. It feels so light and amazing to be taking another step toward being the type of minimalist I've wanted to be since my office job days, when my apartment was FULL of collections and that extreme-minimalist life felt like an impossible pipe dream.

Just a few things I took out of the apartment today. Some store stuff, some donations.

A couple of the lines in the book that really stood out to be was about how much stimuli was have to process since ancient times. Our brains are bombarded with more data in ONE DAY than people in the 1600s would process in a YEAR. Furthermore, our brain's "hardware" is 50,000 years old. It hasn't updated in the slightest to deal with modern society which bombards us with ads and information at every turn.

I identify, and most artists who look up the stats would too, as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). It means I'm very easily overstimulated. For example, if I'm excited about something that will happen the next day I won't sleep no matter how many tinctures herbs, and melatonin pills I take; damn my nerves! Having as little stimuli in my apartment (and it's related maintenance) as possible is healing to my easily-stimulated body.

The reduction of that clutter has been WONDERFUL for clearing that extra data (every object is a thing to deal with eventually) and getting my overdrawn creativity back.

Colorful Photos of my previous apartment 2010-2012ish

I used to use my things as a sense of comfort and identity. Things like my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster above, from my Italian childhood, bought a lot of happiness not just to me but visitors.

In fact my artsy-reseller's pad full of cool-stuff was kind of infamous, here it is above being used for a photoshoot at the request of a local rapper. It felt good to make visitors, locals, and thousands of readers around the world happy with my colorful home! Of course, it inspired me, too.

Photo from me packing to move to my current apartment.

But this all came at the high price of LIVING among it. Always trying to find the best means of storage. Spoiler: I never did find a good means of storage.

When it came to moving time! Holy hell I had a LOT OF STUFF in both merchandise and personal possessions to drag to a new apartment. That was hell. Boxes and moving stuff from place to place would be part of my life for the next few years.

Years of selling off merchandise and then my personal possessions later, this little pile at my apartment represents the LAST time I have to have a mass sale/exodus of Stuff. I'm looking forward to this new era of minimal living with less stress! So if there's something you've had your eye on in my apartment (I've gotten e-mails over the years trying to buy stuff from my photos) drop me a line, it's probably available. Why yes, so is that cuttlefish anatomy poster, and other childhood treasures I'm finally ready to release.

I have many posts to come with details on this new adventure. The weight being lifted is transcendent.

Then when it's all gone I'm looking forward to working, creating and living simply knowing that releasing the past has ALWAYS, almost mystically, bought me even better shining new opportunities.
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  1. I love your place and all the decor!!!! I need to furnish and re-organize the basement... You would die if you saw pics. Ultimate project!!!!!!!!

    1. Nah, I've seen it all, haha :D My parent's garage is a nightmare but they won't let me help do it the KonMari way. I wish I could be there to help organize it. I really feel like once I can hand my current business to a store manager I'm going to do organizing on the side. I absolutely love it!

    2. it is lovely post! One Dollar Web Hosting I like home decoration post and thanks for this post.

  2. How wonderful! I adire your dedication. I hope one day I'm able to reach this point!

    1. You will do it! :D It's taken me 4 years to veeeery slowly, then later, swiftly reduce from my former maximalist ways in different stages.

  3. You are such an inspiration when it comes to decluttering, Vanessa:) The amount of work you did to do And thanks for the heads up about the other book. Will see if I can get my hands on it. Did you buy KonMari's manga book? It's so cute:)

    1. I scooped it up at our local used book store. The manga is so cute, I loved it! I loaned it to my mom and hope to loan it to others in my life who complain abut clutter but feel too daunted by the KonMari method, I feel like it explains it in a more user-friendly way.

  4. You have clearly done an amazing job minimalizing! Very impressive. :) It is funny how we find comfort in stuff. Then realizing that the stuff is just stuff that doesn't bring us real happiness is a fantastic revelation!

    1. Thanks Val! It's been an emotional journey letting go of everything, the hardest part has been the art prints from local artists! But you have to let go of the old to let in the new.

  5. wow that is a great job. I believe in living with less.. not necessarily as minimalistic but try to declutter as often as possible.

    1. It's certainly a forever-process for everyone.

  6. This is pretty exciting V! Can't wait to see how you go and the new opportunities it brings you.


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