Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Encouraging Creativity

Less stuff=More creativity
yes, i have too much stuff. yes, it's a mess. yes, it looks a little better now, usually it's like this though, embarrassing- yes!

I was having a chat with a 9 year old recently, and we both agreed on this. He said that when he only has about 5 toys out, he plays with them more and enjoys them. If a 9 year old is admitting this, and discovered this on his own, then I think there is something to it. I proposed that he hides away some toys in his closet and then marks his calendar one month out and then on that day it's like his birthday, new toys. To make it even more fun, I thought he should ask his mom to secretly pick the toys to hide, and then it would be a surprise.

I have experienced this to be true so much over and over. And yes, I know, this is nothing new or special here. Just something to take note of. Here are my examples:

I like to change things up when I decorate. I get sick of looking at the same stuff over and over. So when we move, I try to simplify and make it clean looking by only using some of the decorations. Then after I'm sick of them I can pull out that box of other stuff and change it up. This way I don't have to buy new stuff, I can appreciate what I have more.

Free time- I want to read, do I read books, which ones, do I read on the computer? Or should I I make stuff, do I watch a movie, do I play a game? We have so many choices with our free time, they clutter our brain. It's easy to zone and choose the thing where we don't use our creativity and zone and veg. I do it all the time.

When I lived in a van I had a box of clothes with me. I really loved every piece of clothing I had. It was easy and simple, and I wore everything. Now at home I am overwhelmed at what I have.
When we were living without all of our stuff in CO, when we came back to all the nice kitchen gadgets, I appreciated them so much and valued them, they were new again. I used them all. Do I use them all now, not so much.

When I was in Berkeley I only brought a sewing machine and fabric. It was so much easier to make things. I had a limited amount of fabric, and all I could do was sew. At home I am overwhelmed by the amount of fabric I have and at all the other crafting items I have. Should I scrapbook, sew, journal, or draw- it is hard to decide. I have so much fabric, which colors look best together. So many choices. There is almost too much stuff inhibiting my creativity.

Websites- blogs. Sometimes I think if I only looked at one or two it would spark more creativity. When I look at so many I get bogged down and overwhelmed. I forget the good ideas that are sparked and ignited from one thing.

I seem to be more creative on trips when I bring just a few supplies on the road. I don't get overwhelmed by decisions to make, what to choose. It's fairly simple- only a few sharpies and tags. A couple stamps and ink- and a beautiful little book can be made.

So I guess what I'm saying is two things here. One, I'm stinking privileged. And two, I need to remind myself of this when I'm itching to buy something new.

I've mentioned this before, but I always like to remember the Pareto principle (or the 80-20 law) It's true for toys, you use 20% of them 80% of the time, same thing for the clothes we wear. It's true in business- 80% of sales come from 20% of clients. 80% of our countries wealth is owned by 20% of the people.

I guess it's just a fact. So why not remember this. I feel like hiding away stuff, changing it out helps me appreciate what I have more and satisfies my greedy little nature to want to buy stuff. And it really seems to spark creativity when I have a clean slate. A clean surface. So keep it clean. Give away stuff. Clear it out, you will be more creative. And it's much easier. It's easier to dust less stuff. It's easier to keep tidy with less stuff. Your brain can think with less stuff. Taking a bit of time to figure out how to change it up individually, so that we can simplify-appreciate what we have- and encourage creativity. This is nothing new, something I just wanted to remind myself of.

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