Sunday, January 9, 2011

Less IS More

I mentioned on my other blog here that I totalled up our receipts from Goodwill donations & discovered that we have given away 51 bags/ boxes of stuff this year! 51 Bags! That number continues to shock me because I don't know how we could have accumulated that much stuff that we apparently didn't need! And I can honestly say that I haven't regretted a single donation. I've never found myself wishing I could get back something I gave away. Which just further shows that those 51 bags of stuff were just that: unimportant, excess stuff!

This year, inspired by blogs such as Becoming Minamalist, I've made a continued effort every so often to go through our possessions and get rid of a lot. I hated that so much time was spent storing & re-sorting and organizing things. I hated thinking about the connection between the amount of money an item cost and the corresponding number of hours I had to spend working, away from my family, in order to earn that amount. I hated seeing the clutter and taking the time to dust each frame, candlestick or decoration that covered all of our surfaces. And I hated the thought of my daughter's imagination not being stretched or her attention span diminished or even just the sense of entitlement that having too many toys could foster.

So, I went through closets, shelves, drawers and baskets and only saved what is truly useful or truly beautiful. I went through my clothes & ruthlessly pulled everything that makes me even the slightest bit self-conscious or is at all uncomfortable. I got rid of all the excess entertainingware I had "just in case we happen to throw a Mexican themed party." I got rid of most of my DVD's- because I never end up watching them. I surprised myself by getting rid of boxes of books, having always been the type to save every good book I ever bought. But I asked myself "am I really going to read this again? And if so, isn't it just as easy to borrow it from the library to re-read?" There are still a few bookshelfs worth of books that I kept- but I probably got rid of 10 boxes of books that didn't meet my "to-keep" criteria.

And now, I can't even describe how much I LOVE being in our house! I love the clutter-free walls & surfaces. I love having easy-to-organize closets that are far from full and lots of blank space. I'm still far from the extreme on the minimalism spectrum, but I'm loving this venture so far. There really is freedom to be found in simplicity.

And you? Has the new year brought with it any new purging, organizing, urges to simplify?


Jenny said...

you know it has Mandy! i'm really hoping the swap party will inspire the way that you inspire with this blog!!

btw, did you sell your DVDs? there's a store on Market that will buy ALL of your dvds..yep, all of them....they only give you between .50 and $3, but it adds up if you have a lot.

i'm always trying to figure out ways to earn back some of the $ i've spent..i usually take clothes to buffalo exchange first before i donate them and there's a consignment shop on 24th and market that takes a lot of home decor (i haven't tried that yet, but i'm hoping to.)

benjyjen said...

Everyday I look around our house and have the urge and desire to simplify. It has been a resolution for many years... never succeeding. Thank you for sharing your experience... it gives me some hope and encouragement. Purge, organize, simplify.... I can do it!