Sunday, December 8, 2013

My quest for simpler living

Today, it begins.

All my hours of research and seeking inspiration are finally bearing fruit.

I am officially a minimalist. A rational minimalist to be exact.

I am tired of having piles of clutter around my house. I am tired of stepping over my purse and a box of random stuff to sit at my desk. I am tired of not being able to use my desk because the piles of who knows what multiply and expand and cover it edge to edge. I want to have dinner with my family or sip a cup of tea with a friend or read a good book at the kitchen table without having to clear 50 lbs of clutter. I want my bedroom to be a sanctuary of rest, not a catch-all for everything I want to keep out of my kid’s reach. I want to quit having to use and store baby gates to keep my kid away from the more cluttery parts of my house.

That's a lot to want, but as they say: minimalism is thinking big and being happy. The way I see it, I've lived 28 years, 2 months and 24 days old being someone I’m not. I didn't know it, but I've been in the closet all these years. No more.

I've always been known as a pack rat, a collector of things, a messy person. Not filthy, just messy. My mom and dad always used to joke about how I would cut up a piece of paper into miniscule bits and store them in an envelope in a bag in a box in a bigger box. And it was true. I liked my things. I liked making things; I liked keeping them in bags and boxes. My natural habitat was one so covered with things that it was generally inaccessible, unless you knew the route. It must have been some deeply rooted instinct to keep predators at bay. If they couldn't reach me, then they couldn’t hurt me.

But no more. Today, I'm setting myself free from clutter. I’m setting myself and my family free from over stuffed closets, from unusable surfaces, from weekends and late nights spent organizing stuff. This is freedom from over consumption and going over budget. I'm getting free from all the little bits and bobs of things I've stored over the years but never used. This is it; I have decided. It'll be a long road, and I've taken a few baby steps, but I have a long ways to go yet.

Would you like to come with me? If you could minimize your house, what would it look like? Where would you start?


  1. You are inspiring me to follow through on this very thing! I can so relate to the picture you have painted us of your "before" condition. Our house has absolutely no closets. Not one. So everything we have is painfully visible. And since our walls are unfinished as well, I have found I enjoy hanging all my pans (mostly cast iron) and such around the kitchen as usable decoration. My focus is on function (with some flair) for the things I choose to keep. Since our place is decorated in "Early Salvation Army" (as opposed to Early American which I love) it seems to work.

    Yes, I want to join you on this journey. I too need to unclutter my horizontal surfaces. And I've recently decided to give away all my acrylic yarn stash I've collected over the years. I guess the best place for me to begin is in the craft/spare room. Bill and I have gone through much of the attic boxes, one box at a time. But now it's time to be ruthless, and bless others with stuff I probably won't get around to. Thank you sweet Woo for having us along on this journey with you!

  2. Oh, and a trick we've found helps is to have a free sign out by the road that we can put up like a mailbox flag when we have stuff to go. It seems to be a blessing to others since the stuff always disappears pretty rapidly. Of course, this is only good for dry spells, but we've tried to plan accordingly.

  3. I have started giving stuff away by the box on the facebook classified groups here locally. I have very little except local traffic on my road, so I don't know if the curb-side free sign would work for me. Plus, I live less than a mile from the thrift store, so it wouldn't take much more time for me to just deliver it there. :) I love that it works for you!