“And now that I have come to be master of the house, I gaze up at the mountains, bend down to listen to the spring, look around at the trees and bamboos, the clouds and rocks, busy with them every minute from sunup to evening. Let one of them beckon and I follow it in spirit, happy with my surroundings, at peace within. One night here and my body is at rest, two nights and my mind is content, and after three nights I’m in a state of utter calm and forgetfulness.”
Po Chu-i | The Thatched Hall | 817
Pictured: Shen Zhou, Lofty Mount Lu, Ming Dynasty, 1467.
Wirth is a German word for head of family, master of household, provider. The Wirth Chairbelongs in a quiet, light filled space – a foyer, piano room, gallery or perhaps even the patio. With its delicate curves and stone like look, the seat is a place for finding balance, a place for contemplation. When it’s time to retreat, as the family head or otherwise, the Wirth Chair is the only company you need.
“The general rule is that soul appears in the gaps and holes of experience…Power pours in when we sustain the feeling of emptiness and withstand temptation to fill it prematurely…the soul has no room in which to present itself if we continually fill all the gaps with bogus activities.”
I used to hate having empty walls. I always felt I had to fill them from top to bottom so they wouldn’t look boring. Eventually these busy walls wore me out, always offering up specific images for me to think about. There was no room for imagination. No place for contemplation. No space for my eyes to rest. I now find it necessary to leave room for emptiness not only in the house but also in my schedule.
“Empty places – a vacuum where something once has been – draw the eye and obsess the imagination.”
In the Studio | Hale | 1957
This throne of a seat looks like it was unpeeled to reveal singer/songwriter, Ari Lennox. She can’t be bought, regrettably, but two of these chairs in tour backyard amid bamboo, banana trees, palms and philodendron might mimic the getaway that is her voice. Fit for shiraz on Saturday night or chai on Sunday morning, this chair is for conversation, reflection, gratitude.
This is recalibration. It’s the practice of rebalancing the living space so that it resonates with the head space. Changes like this happen weekly in my house. If I feel stuck, stagnant, overwhelmed by my mind or just simply need a release, recalibration is my medicine.
Sound borrowed from Tommy Guerrero – Heat in the Streets from Road to Knowhere
Here’s the thing about procrastination: The longer we put it off, the more frightening it becomes. But when we finally sit down and get to it, we realize it’s not so bad after all. This is the case with all things declutter. It’s not ideal to let our papers pile up, but the greater the distance between ourselves and our clutter, the easier it is to let it go when the time comes.
The first step is to make a decision. Always. Not just in design; not just in declutter. In all aspects of life, we must first decide we want to make change before it can actually happen. Shift from “I should probably…” to “It’s time that I…” Decide on a day to sit down and organize your paperwork. If you have a sporadic schedule, choose a month instead of day. Plant the intention in your mind and commit to it.
When the opportunity arises, seize it. Start by adjusting your attitude. Instead of dreading the process, imagine how light you’ll feel as you eliminate chaos from your home. Create an uplifting atmosphere. Light candles, play music, listen to an audiobook or a podcast, invite your pet. Allow yourself to get excited about finally letting go.
The goal is to trash what you don’t need (likely the majority of the clutter), organize what’s left and develop habits that prevent pile up from returning. Most of your paperwork will fall into the categories that follow:
Junk mail Trash. It. All.
Most likely all trash. Even the ones you kept just in case you decided to make a return. That was probably months ago and the receipt has probably expired. When given the option, only accept receipts you need. And even then, be real about your behavior. Are you a person that actually makes time for returns? If not, don’t bother with the receipt.
Hard copies aren’t necessary. The info is neatly organized online and doesn’t take up space in your house. Shred em all and opt for paperless statements.
Bills Same. The info is online. No duplicates necessary. Go paperless.
Insurance policies, investments and retirement accounts
It might help to have a hard copy of account details for reference. Organize into an expandable folder or a file drawer if you have one. More than likely though, you’ll end up calling customer service with your question anyway.
We hold onto manuals as if there’s major danger looming amid our electronics. And while malfunctions are imminent, it’s instinct for me to take my questions to YouTube. Thousands of people experienced the same problem and more importantly have found a fix. Plus, many product manuals are online as well. I prefer to keep manuals for speakers, TVs, game consoles, etc. But that’s just in case I decide to sell. And that’s only to make the purchase feel more official because the buyer too, probably takes their questions to YouTube.
This one’s tough. I personally feel guilty for throwing away people’s cards. It feels like I’m trashing their effort. At the same time, people giving out business cards should know there’s a chance they might end up in the trash. Even business cards that get used only get used a couple times. Once you’re in communication with somebody you probably have their number locked in or their email address saved. Then the card is useless. Eventually, I accept that sometimes decluttering is cut throat and I trash what I don’t need.
Cut back on what you bring home by saving the number on site or taking a picture of the card. In some settings this might not be appropriate but do what you can when you can to reduce what comes home with you daily.
Will Read Eventually
Eventually is now. Start reading through the brochures, flyers and miscellany you kept for later reading. In less than three minutes you’ll know if it’s a document you need.
“The rotting trunk now becomes home to a complex living community. Wood ants move in and chew the moldy wood to make their paper nests. They soak the nest walls with honeydew, the sugary excretions of aphids. Fungi bloom on this substrate, and their fibrous web stabilizes the nest. A multitude of beetles are drawn to the mushy, rotten interior of the cavity. Their larvae can take years to develop, and therefore they need stable, long-term accommodations.”
Above: Iklwa by Mac Collins. “…when used, the throne conjures up notions of authority, empowerment and dominance against oppression.
“Drawing inspiration from his African Cultural heritage, Mac has created a furniture piece which is in tune with the ideas of Afrocentrism and Afrofuturism. Through a composition of powerful, spear-like forms, an encompassing backrest and a vivid, ultramarine hue, the designer has created a visually intense object designed to dominate and overwhelm its surroundings.” As described on maccollins.com