You’ve heard of Slow Food, so why not Slow Move?
When Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini spoke in Portland recently, he said bluntly, “Mangiamo merde,” (We eat sh*t). I’m thoroughly convinced that we as a culture live with a lot of merde, too.
So why not be conscientious nesters in the same way that Slow Foodies are thoughtful gastronomists? The principles are the same (to simplify, to make informed decisions that support local and regional economies) and the practice (to be mindful, to enjoy the process) is equally fulfilling.
I recently moved from a two-story house into a 400-square foot studio. It was an exercise in downsizing wisely, and in peddling stuff: old stuff, new stuff, cheap stuff, valuable stuff…ultimately, just way too much stuff. It was also a hassle, and tempted was I ” many times ” to tackle the move as quickly and painlessly as possible.
But what a missed opportunity that would have been — not to mention wasteful. Instead, I employed Slow Move tactics. On the giving end, I identified local organizations that would continue the lives of my unneeded items (see S.C.R.A.P., the School and Community Reuse Action Project, the Raphael House, and the William Temple House). On the receiving end, I befriended local business owners whose expertise could shape my new place wisely (ReBuilding Center, Whole 9 Yards, and Pistils Nursery).
In the end, it was a journey through Portland’s local economy, the result of which has infused my new place with an air of mindful, minimalist, collective creativity. It is a good reminder to continue to strive to chuck the Big Box, regardless of whether it’s full of fry guys and cheeseburgers, home improvement items, or bed linens galore. As Petrini might remind us, these big boxes are really just full of merde.
And on the subject of moving, check out this truly Slow Move. Inspiration for us all.
Images courtesy Clarence Eckerson