I first read the book “The More of Less” in January 2017. It solidified my growing desire to live more simply. We did not sell everything we own and move into a tiny house. But we did start going through our closets and parting with things we did not need. I began evaluating why we hang on to specific items and thinking about my purchases.
A year and a half later I am re-reading this book. Once again, nothing is new. It is all information I have heard before. But it is a great reminder of the life I want to live.
Minimalism is “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.” It’s not just about de-cluttering or organizing. It is about determining what is important to you and removing the stuff that gets in the way.
Minimizing is time consuming. It takes hours to go through a large closet – it took us two days to go through the garage a few weeks ago. Our stuff not only takes up space in our lives but also time from our day. However, I have noticed that each time I go through something it is easier to part with things.
I am still trying to determine my goals for minimizing. Some days I want to free myself of the burden of stuff (and debt) to hit the road and see the country. Other days I want to reduce the amount of time we have to spend on upkeep so we can enjoy more unscheduled days at home. Regardless of what “end goal” we pursue, the stuff around me is getting in my way.
Another challenge is that I am not in this alone. My husband is not a minimizer. He doesn’t mind clutter and hates to part with things. But he is slowly coming around and letting go of some unneeded items we have kept around the past 20 years. When you are sharing this journey with someone who isn’t at the same place it just takes more time. We will get there. My goal isn’t to live in a tiny home or have bare walls. It is to enjoy the space around us without having to work around our stuff.
Do we really need 15 totes of Christmas decorations for our 1,200 square foot home? Why do I need to hang on to all of the notes and papers from my undergraduate degree? How many crock-pots do I need to feed a family of four?
Minimizing isn’t easy. It takes time and physical effort. Our schedules don’t allow for a lot of time to go through things. Despite the time it takes, I still planted a garden this year. We have two teenagers and full time jobs. But I am determined to “get there”. I feel the desire and NEED to reduce the stuff around us to create margin in our lives for what is important. Faith, family, friends.