2015 – Embracing Minimalism

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I don’t believe in making resolutions for the new year. However, the start of 2015 happens to coincide with my desire to declutter our whole life. For those who know me well, that’s probably a shock. I love stuff. I love purses and shoes and jewelry, and art, and books, and so many more things. I have a busy schedule but not enough time to just enjoy my family and friends.

While I’m lucky to have been able to acquire lots of things, and my family has pretty good health that allows us to participate in many activities, all of this mental and physical clutter has become a prison of sorts. I don’t like feeling that we’re drowning in belongings and appointments.

We’re going to do better. We’re going to evaluate whether or not we need more things before we go shopping for fun (OK, I will, since I’m the only one here who shops for fun). We’re going to learn to say no to over-packed schedules. And we’re going to get rid of the things that are stuffed in closets and drawers and under beds, so we can enjoy our home instead of feeling that we need to pick up every half hour.

I’m not brave enough to pare down to 33 wardrobe items as the 333 project suggests. The idea of limiting to a set number of items, a capsule wardrobe, is fantastic, though. The 40 – hanger closet is a similar idea. I could probably get rid of half my clothes and still need more than 40 hangers. That’s excessive,  and it makes laundry more difficult. My daughters have overgrown wardrobes, too, and my sons have enough toys for 25 children. Enough is enough.

But this is not a resolution! It’s a slow embracing of simplicity. Kind of like the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change. Resolutions rarely last.

One thought in the back of my mind as I’ve pondered this change is that all of the things we save for later may never come out of storage. My children may not be as sentimental as me, and might not love receiving a box of kindergarten school papers, stuffed animals, and decades-old baby clothes when they buy their first home.

Faith from Minimalist at Home said, “A dead pack rat has miserable children.” Will the things I’ve saved make my kids feel tired and sad when they have to sort through my estate some day? Hopefully not, but this return to simplicity and adventure in minimalism should ensure that there isn’t so much junk left behind when that day comes.

Except the shoes. Sorry, kids.

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