Month: January 2014

Minimalization

The things you own end up owning you. – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

I think I am at the nexus of MRB Chapters 2 (Hygiene) and 12 (Just Because, That’s Why).

I’m decluttering.

Or, I’m trying to.

I’ve been seeking out some advice on this.  Wow. Google “minimalist.” The results are staggering.

I have some favorites.

http://www.theminimalistmom.com/category/getting-started/

http://happyherbivore.com/2013/11/minimalist/

http://zenhabits.net/about/

And then, one day, it clicked. It was well past time to dust the bookshelf – truth be told, I was putting it off, because it’s tedious. And I realized, that if I didn’t have so many books piled haphazardly, it would be easier to dust. So I pulled some off. No, I pulled a lot off. Put them in a box.

And then Dear Husband took it to Half-Priced Books. (To my horror, I recently discovered that Half-Priced Books doesn’t exist everywhere!  This is a used bookstore. If there isn’t one in your area, I’m sorry. You should get one.) Anyway. I was initially irritated. In fact, I found several reasons to be irritated. But, you know what? I only remember one or two of the titles that were in that rather full copy paper box. He got a whopping $14 for them, by the way.

But we really got more than $14. The shelf is kinder on the eyes – less visually cluttered. It’s easier to dust, so that’s a bit healthier, since now I’m doing it more often. But even doing it more often, it’s still a time saver, since I don’t have to take the time to move a whole lot of stuff out of the way. I also have to admit, I got a little peace of mind – our oldest child is a voracious reader and I had a large selection of, well, brain candy, and now she won’t stumble across some of the racier novels that I got rid of (that’s not to say that I got rid of all of them…..).

I feel a little bit inspired by that. Though I still have a long, long way to go.

I find the word “Minimize” to be a little intimidating, to be honest. So many different viewpoints on this. One subset of folks say that to be truly minimalist, you have to have fewer than 100 possessions. Yeah, I threw that one out the window. I think a lot of people cheat, anyway. I saw someone who considered his “library” to be a single possession. I have no idea how many individual books constitute a “library.”

Then there are the – How Little Stuff Can I Have? – people. The people who successfully travel the world with their newborn and the contents of two backpacks. Wow. Cool, but not for me.

I found a reference – I don’t remember where – that described minimalist living as just meaning that you don’t have to be quite so organized. Because it means that you don’t have enough stuff to NEED a complicated filing/organizing system.

I like that idea.

Sort of like the bookshelf. It’s friendlier.

It’s going to be a long road, but I have a goal: I want us to be friends with our home and stuff, instead of fighting with it all the time.