Discovering Minimalism

Recently, my husband and I decided it was finally time to tackle some of the clutter in our house. We’ve always said that we don’t spent excessively (which we don’t for the most part), and we don’t have excessive amounts of possessions. I’ve been teased on many occasions at the apparent bareness of my clothing “collection” and hubby on the fact that he still owns (and sometimes wears) things that he had in high school (ok the one heckling him might actually just be me but let’s not start pointing fingers).

So if we don’t buy excessively…then why the heck did we find that half our basement was littered with junk, unopened boxes from several moves, bins of clothes and the feeling like we needed more storage??

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” 

Quite simply (and with a moderate degree of embarrassment), we never get rid of stuff. Sure we donate a bag of clothes here and there and the odd box of goods we no longer use. We add a few items to a family garage sale but by and large, we discovered that we have excessive amounts of crap everywhere in our house.

When I set my mind to making de-cluttering the house one of my 6 tasks for the first 6 weeks of this year, I had no idea the can of worms I was going to discover. What both my husband and I discovered. We realized we hang on to waaaaaay too much stuff, labeling it as “sentimental”, “necessary” or “I might need it”.

We decided that enough was enough and have vowed to make some changes throughout this year. As I write this, we’re in the process of major clutter removal. We’ve donated 2 car loads full (and I mean full) of stuff that we don’t use, need or want. Extra clothes, a butt load of baby clothes, kitchen stuff and even food items to friends and relatives. We’ve got a box of old but good toys we’re going to try and sell back to the second hand store in hopes of exchanging that money for next size up clothes for Fit Boy. I have a bag of clothes set aside for the next swap night I do with my awesome girlfriends and a bin of items that will be garage saled this summer and then donated if not sold. We’ve also sold some stuff online which is helping us put some money into savings.

“We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.” 

Most importantly, through this process, I’m less anxious. There has been zero regret with anything I’ve gotten rid of, zero worry about whether we’re doing the right thing and the fact that I have much less anxiety being in my house than I did a couple of weeks ago has been so liberating.

When you come visit us, you won’t be greeted with a single chair in the living room or empty shelves and cupboards. We still have stuff. But we’re learning the value of keeping only what we need.

And for the record, you’ll still see the dust bunnies. I’m still too lazy to minimalize those.

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Stephanie is a Canadian Mom of 3, Runner, Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Christ-follower and all around reeker of awesomeness. When she's not chasing after her kids, you can find her dreaming big dreams and bringing them to life.

11 Responses to Discovering Minimalism

  1. This is great – I’ve been definitely thinking the same way recently. After a post-Christmas binge, I feel like I just have too much stuff! I think my money could be much better spent elsewhere, and it’d be nice not to have overflowing cabinets, drawers, etc. Now I just have to work up the nerve to do something about it!

  2. I agree — going more minimal is good for the soul. I’ve been de-cluttering and minimizing for the past six months and I love how I feel. My basement keeps getting more and more usable as I gain space once taken over by unused rice cookers, etc!

  3. I’ve been going through this for a few months. Once I started getting rid of things, it became addicting! I loved filling bags and boxes to be donated. I donate things to the Vietnam Veterans of America. I think it’s an important cause (my dad was in the Marines and went to Vietnam) and they pick up the stuff from your house.

  4. I have to admit, when I first read the title, i thought this was going to be about minimalist Shoes!! haha Mind of a runner maybe? lol We still live in an apartment and have moved several times over the years. Each time, I donate and get rid of a bunch of stuff…then somehow, we get more stuff! I don’t really know where it comes from lol. We don’t do knick knacks or anything like that really, but we still seems to have a very FULL apartment! lol One issue I have had is with my clothes! I have gained and lost so much over the years, I hate to get rid of clothes and then feel like I might need them again. :/ I know that’s horrible for the psyche, but I do it! haha :)

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