5 years ago when we moved back from France, we moved into a home with 17 bins and the clothes on our backs.
We walked into a home. No, not a house, a home… Friends and family had furnished and provided for almost every single thing we needed, and more.
We began to unpack the bins… I think back now on what we brought back with us, and what we didn’t. I shouldn’t have included as much memorabilia from the kids French preschool. I definitely should have packed more foi gras and wine.
As we settled into our new home and increased space, we sought to further furnish our home with the things we felt we needed. However, we also had the items that had been given to us. I felt overcome with the goodness that had been shown to us, but the things also overwhelmed me. A sorter by nature, I was paralyzed, just stuck. I didn’t know where everything had come from, who had given it to us? Would they be offended if we no longer needed it? What if they saw it at the consignment shop we both shop at? What if it was missing when they stopped in next time? If I got rid of the things that reminded me of France, was I letting go of France?
Stuck and completely emotionally underwater, I articulated these things to my sister and she introduced me to the Minimalists. Suddenly, I had a paradigm from which to act. If my items did not bring me joy, or no longer added value to my life, I would release them.
I opened the linen closet that I had sealed with emotional nails and began the process of removing the stuff and making room, not just on my shelves, but in my mind.
Since then, I have progressed step by step further into the minimalist lifetsyle. There have been setbacks… Sometimes, life might sneak up on you and shazam a few speed bumps at your here and there.
I am currently in the process of decluttering, yet again, for the umpteenth time (and it will not be the last, I’m sure). I started a 12 week course called ‘Uncluttered’ by Joshua Becker as a companion to his book The More of Less.
I will be updating my blog weekly with my progress. I enjoy the accountability and I plan to look back after the 12 weeks and be quite content with my progress. This isn’t an all or nothing, it’s a change of mind, a step forward, a way to increase my daily joy and decrease my daily stress.
In the meantime I want to leave you with a few little nuggets that have been huge game changers for me.
1. Set your reasons for change. Mine:
I desire to own less so that I can have more mental and physical room for the projects that we enjoy as a family.
We will never reduce to nothing. It turns out that we are a houseful of creators, we love to make things! (And we love to give them away as well).
2. Start with me. I started by reducing my wardrobe (I’ll never go back!). Then, I worked on the kids clothing. Start with you, then with your sphere of influence. (Although, I would not suggest minimizing any teen or adults clothing for them! Yikes-o-rama!)
3. Realize that minimalism doesn’t look the same for everyone. We have a micro farm… there is only so much downsizing we can do it we desire to continue to enjoy this. We also have 5 kids, it’s just not going to look the same as it does for a smaller family.
How about you? Have you ever felt underwater in your home? Do you have a sense of having too much junk?
Do you want to be set free? (If so, I would encourage you to start reading those two blogs I mentioned… it might just change your life).