Friday, October 05, 2012

Curating everyday life

About a year ago, Megan of SortaCrunchy wrote a post about curating her closet. That post has had a huge impact on me. For one thing, it helped me realize that I can, and need to, develop a personal style so that I like what I wear and don't own a ton of clothes that I never wear.

But what has had a larger impact on my life is the second point that Megan makes in her post, "the curated closet is often-edited." The curated closet is a collection of items that are constantly scrutinized and evaluated for their worth. Items that no longer fit the current needs and space are discarded.

I don't remember if Megan talks about what the word 'curate' means, but having worked in a museum, where they curate exhibits, I started to get some new ideas about what it means to curate a collection. says that 'curate' means 'to take charge of, or organize' or 'to pull together, sift through, and select for presentation.' Curating a collection doesn't mean you keep everything that comes your way.

I've been digesting this concept over the past year. I still don't have a personal style that I like, and my closet isn't well curated, yet. But I've realized the value of curating other areas of my life as well.

  • I'm working on curating a collection of paper that is meaningful to me and my posterity (this is also known as the long-term project to get rid of my boxes of paper).
  • On my radar is the need to curate a collection of toys and books that are worth playing with (we have a few toys and books that I don't like to put away because I think they are cheap or shoddy).
  • Lost Boy and I have been more willing to take some of our own books to the used book store (we get credit at the used book store, which is nice for when we want to buy books as gifts or find a book we love, but don't own).
  • I have become willing to throw away all sorts of things that I might once have kept, just in case. I am also pushing myself to put bigger and more expensive items in the Goodwill/DI box (such as Tupperware that I have from when I was a consultant, but which we almost never use).
  • I am learning to curate my digital subscriptions (Google Reader, Facebook pages, Email subscriptions). I'm still a bit out of control in this area, but I just unsubscribed from about 15 blogs in my Google Reader, which is a record! Unfortunately, I still have 214 subscriptions left to let go of...
The digital collections are kind of hard because they don't appear to take up space like clothes in a closet or books on a shelf do.

What areas of your life do you curate well? Or need to start curating?


  1. This is really Karen...but I love that concept of curating. We need to curate my sewing/craft stuff.

  2. I read that post too, and really enjoyed it. Lately I have been thinking a lot about my priorities and how I spend my time. Not exactly the tangible things one can curate, but I believe that we can curate our life in many intangible ways too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and goals.

  3. Wow! You do subscribe to a lot of blogs. :)

    Because of the packing/moving I'm currently doing, I'm curating basically everything... it's amazing how much stuff I've tossed in Goodwill/recycle/trash piles without thinking twice about it.