A genuine look at how I reduced my stuff to simplify my life

Over the past year, I have really been cognizant of minimizing my belongings. I have always in a part, been a minimalist at heart, but like many others, have become immersed in consumerism. They make it so easy! I read Marie Kondo’s book, The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japenese art of decluttering and organizing(whew, for a minimalist, that’s a long title!). She has some “out there” ideas, but her book does help to methodically go through the house and to help one see the joy in the belongings we choose to hold on to. I’ve read other books on minimalism over the years, but I was feeling stuck in a way, so I wanted to see what this book was all about.

There were several sentimental items I had been holding onto. One was a shirt from my daughter, Ansley that died three days after her birth. It was a shirt given to me by the medic team that transported her to the children’s hospital. She hadn’t even worn the shirt and it really wasn’t a good memory for me at all, but I had held on to it anyway for these past five years. That was one item I let go. I realize many have special attachments and memories attached to items, but they are not that person. Think about it, what is it you do whenever you see, hold, touch that object? You conjure up a memory in your head! The memory of that person is held in your head and heart, not in that particular item. I am not saying that it is wrong or not minimalist to keep sentimental items, but I encourage you to see why you need it. I did keep several items from Ansley, but most, I gave away. My three daughters enjoy using the couple baby blankets I had from her to play dolls with and it brings me joy(with a hint of sadness) whenever I see them wrapping their baby dolls with her blankets now.

I also wanted to not have so much to have to put in storage while we traveled. The last move we did, I couldn’t believe how much stuff we had even after I had gone through so much beforehand and it was a lot! So, this time, I wanted it to be a lot less. I still feel that I could get rid of more, but I am at a difficult stage with trying to decide if its worth storing for a couple years or if it could be replaced. The frugal part of me wants to keep it, but I’m trying to be okay with living without some of these items.

The featured image above is a current picture of my kitchen space. It is a big kitchen and I love that I have plenty of counter space, but it is also nice to be able to have it cleared off. I have worked hard at getting rid of enough kitchen gadgets to get to this. When I’m in a smaller kitchen I’ll be challenged again!

One thing I’ve been working on is minimizing the amount of food I buy and store. For so long we lived over 20 minutes away(one way!)from a grocery store and I was part of a natural food co-op, so I got used to stocking up. Now I have lived for several years very close to a grocery store, but still was stuck in that mentality. It’s going to be a work in progress and I just hope that I’m not too overwhelmed with it all when I’m in a small RV trying to stock up on groceries!

My hope is to beckon more harmony into my life by simplifying the stuff I have surrounding me. I want to be able to spend more time and energy focusing on the people I love by not having to worry about keeping my house cleaned up.

What are things that you feel you just couldn’t live without? Do you feel stuck in your journey to a minimalist home?

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