Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Kick-In-The-Pants

One topic that has been on my mind a great deal the last few months is "minimalism."  No, I'm not referring to the decorating aesthetic of bare white walls and spartan furnishings.  I am talking about living with less Stuff, paring down your life to the essentials, owning (and doing) only those things that are useful and bring you joy.  This philosophy is not about organizing your clutter, but rather letting go of it!  How many plates does one family need?  Why are there boxes and boxes of STUFF stored in the attic untouched for months, even years?  Why do we keep closets full of clothes that we don't like and never wear? Why are we constantly running from one activity to another, never slowing down to just "be" and enjoy the moment?

All this Stuff & busyness weighs us down!

So, hubby and I determined to do something about it.  Enough is enough!

First, let me clarify:  we are not hoarders.  You would not have ever walked into our home and thought to yourself, "Wow, they have a problem.  It's time for an intervention."  It was usually reasonably tidy and comfortable. However, we had six 72-inch tall bookshelves packed with books, plus 3 more bookshelves full of my crafting supplies.  Our closets were all filled.  The attic was also full.  I had to store things on top of the refrigerator because my kitchen cabinets had no more room.  Not being able to find something we really wanted was a too common occurrence.  Getting the vacuum out of the coat closet was a pain due to the amount of Stuff stored all around it...

You get the picture?  Our Stuff was not serving us.  In fact, it was frequently impeding us from living joyfully and causing frustration.

So, the Great De-Stashing began.  We sorted and tossed and donated piles and piles of Stuff.  And then we did it some more.  Hundreds of books, bags of clothes, unused housewares, furniture we never liked, all removed from our home.  Each time we let go, the easier it became to let go of more.  The thrill of loading my car full and hauling it off was even more exciting than the thrill I used to get shopping for something new.  In fact, shopping and buying more Stuff is the LAST thing I want to do these days.  And you know what?  So far, I have not missed one single item I have let go of.  Literally thousands of pounds of Stuff has left our home, and still there is more to go!

And now, you may be asking yourself, "So what about that 'Kick-In-The-Pants' mentioned in the title of this post?"  Well, as I write this, my hubby is in the middle of a job interview...in another town.  If he lands this job, it would not only necessitate relocating, but it will surely require serious downsizing as the cost of housing in the new community is significantly higher than where we currently live.  In fact, the four of us could very likely go from living in a 2,000 + square foot, 5-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom apartment with less than half our current square footage!!!

How's that for a kick in the pants?

Stay tuned for more posts discussing minimalism, including some how-to's and recommended resources.

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