As mentioned in previous posts, I have been reading a lot about minimalist living and, as a result have started to get rid of a lot of my stuff. I’ve gone from clothes being scattered between a dresser and two closets to using just one small closet for all my clothes. I’ve gone from all my books taking up two and a half bookshelves to just using one bookshelf for all my personal books, professional books and scrapbooks. The G-man and I got rid of a table that was taking up lots of kitchen floor space, and we replaced it with a small shelf to hold a few appliances. These changes, and a few others, make the whole house feels more manageable and functional to me.
One thing that I have found wonderful about getting rid of stuff is how much MORE I have in my life as a result. It sounds cliche, I know. But here are a few concrete examples of how I now have MORE after working hard to own less.
- After clearing out my personal book collection I discovered about 7 books that I really want to read, but haven’t yet. I have been acutally reading them!
- Book-related again. I used to just re-read one of my paperback thrillers when I wanted some escapist fiction. Now I’ve started reading some new books from the mystery, thriller and romance sections of the library and I’m enjoying new authors and new characters.
- More room in the kitchen has make cooking and cleaning-up soooo much easier. In fact, it has allowed me to focus more time on cooking and less on cleaning up, which has made mealtimes way more pleasant.
- Now that I just have one place with all my clothes I have started wearing outfits I forgot I owned.
Beginning this process of decluttering (yes, just beginning – there is lots and lots to do) has really illuminated how much stuff I have. It is an embarrassment of riches, and realizing this has helped me re-think how I buy things that I think I “need.” In many ways this experience is parallel to my experience of becoming vegan. At first being vegan seemed to be all about what I wouldn’t eat. That was one of the reason it took me five years to really become vegan after learning about how bad dairy was for me. I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up cheese. However, once I decided to finally cut out dairy and eggs (I was vegetarian for years) I realized how much other great plant-based foods there were. I learned to love kale and quinoa. I discovered delicious delicata squash and tasty tempeh. None of these foods replaced cheese and eggs directly. However, by removing cheese and eggs from my diet I made room for these new foods. Through having less I discovered the abundance of a vegan world.
As I get rid of stuff that is sitting around my house, or sneakily hiding in closets, I’m not just on a quest to have a cleaner home. I’m really trying to clear out the dead-weight, the things that I’m not using, that only serve to hide the books, objects, space or food that make my life richer. So, it’s not just a cliche. Right now my family and I are living on the smallest budget (per person) that we have ever lived on as we simultaneously clear out our closets and drawers. But though having less we are making space for all the “more” in our lives.
Notes from the Year of Family
Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Blueberry smoothies for Dad and LP followed by cream of wheat for everyone.
- Lunch: Leftover curry and quinoa for Mom and Dad and a quinoa/hummus/olive quesadilla for LP
- Dinner: Since LP has a touch of the flu we had one of my favorite flu-busting soups – Carrot-ginger. Accompanied by biscuits at LP’s request. Who can deny a sick kiddo his biscuits with soup?
Today we spent the following:
- $10.79 at Whole Foods
- $8.49 for children’s Tylonal at CVS