Minimizing

Empty green living room with sliding door

Last weekend I found my husband asleep on the couch, Gilligan’s Island on TV, and two puppies sleeping soundly by his side. I’m pretty sure Webster lists that as the definition of adorable.

Last weekend I also ran across a website that may very well change my life. If you’ve never had the pleasure of browsing The Minimalists, you should. Everyone should.

After spending a large majority of this week (a semi-successful staycation) reading bits and pieces of the above site, I wanted to get rid of everything I own, quit my job, and go to work in some position that requires little-to-no thinking. The thought of not losing sleep over work-related issues and having my weekends back sounds divine. I love what I do, but the stress is going to kill me one day, let’s face it.

We all own too much stuff. Right? I live in just under 900 sf, and I have way too much junk. Big houses baffle me! I can’t imagine living in something larger – something that would allow for me to fill it with even more junk than I already own. I just broke out in hives thinking about it.

I’m a book and magazine hoarder. I never succumbed to the Kindle bug because I love the smell of old books and I like to underline, and highlight, and make notes.  But enough is enough. I have stacks and stacks of books that will be a pain in the royal ass to move the next time I decide we need to (which should be within the next year or so, considering my batting average). There are three stacks under my coffee table, one next to the piano, one on my nightstand, and three giant stacks on our dresser, because I thought they looked cool there. I have more books than clothing. And I love each and every one of them, but it’s time to make some changes. (I totally forgot to mention the stack of cookbooks in the kitchen, btw)

Same with the magazines. Basket in the living room, basket in the bedroom, etc.

I feel like I just introduced myself at a support group. First step is admitting you have a problem, right?

I once read a quote (in a magazine, of course) that said you should “have fewer things, but better things.” Kind of goes with the whole “quality over quantity” theory.

It’s true for material things AND people. I won’t get into the people part, but why waste your time with those who aren’t worth it? Quality only.

So today, I started what will be a very painful purge. Getting rid of things that I clearly can’t take with me, and that are weighing me down. Books, extra linens that haven’t seen the light of day in years, clothing that someone else would love more than I have, CD’s (Just dated myself, didn’t I?), kitchen gadgets and serveware (900 sf doesn’t allow for much entertaining), and a random assortment of wire hangers. You get the idea.

Walden’s words ring loud and clear: “Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!” If less truly is more, I’m about to find out. Hoping that living with less will be freeing and uplifting. Less material & relationship “clutter” means focusing on the experience of life itself.

While it’s not exactly minimalism (yet), it’s a start.

For friends and family who will be buying gifts around the holidays this year, I don’t need more “stuff”.

I do, however, need a Kindle.

 

tamihallman

Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!