Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Minimalism Thoughts

I've been on a kick in recent weeks reading about minimalism and simplicity. I've always been drawn to the idea. Specifically, I'm drawn to the idea that it frees up time to do more important things, preferably with family and friends. Big homes hold a lot of stuff that we tend to move around or spend time trying to fill. For example, my husband and I have spent numerous hours looking for new living room furnishing since we moved here last year. The living room still isn't the way I want it, as I think I need end tables. Sometimes all the time spent feels like such a waste!

Maybe you saw that I asked about how many purses we all own on the Organized Friends Facebook page. Or that I asked how many pairs of scissors you own. By the way, if you weren't reading then, the answer is one and ten!

There can be a case made for several of something or just one. The preferences are personal choices. I like having only one purse, because I know that the things I want in it are always there, and I save time moving things between purses. I'm also not into brands or fashion that would compel me to want more than the basic purse to suit my needs. The scissors weren't all conscious choices. Somehow, we just acquired a lot of scissors! There seems to be different uses for different types of scissors. Maybe that is a marketing gimmick in some cases?

I've noticed we just don't use a lot of the stuff we have. Our girls have toys that they have outgrown. The only reason to keep it would be to offer it to young children visiting our home. It seems that is going to be rare now that we live halfway across the country from most relatives and friends with young children. I brought out a bin of toys that we kept in the basement at our last house. The girls were so not interested. There's simply no reason to keep just in case. There are lots of activities we can do without the need for these toys.

There were many duplicates of many craft items and office supplies. We don't need three calculators, or more than one ruler or even ten pairs of scissors. I found it quite freeing to get down to one small stapler, which also had a built in remover. I let go of streamers, craft sticks, extra markers (thin and thick). Of course, it is possible I might need some of these things some day. But it's been so long since any of us have, I feel confident they can be let go. We can get more of these things any time if needed, and the cost to do so would be minimal.

The sheer amount we have let go of is surprising to me as I know that we thought all of these things were worth moving just over a year ago. A year goes by, and now we don't need it. I guess my mindset has changed. I'm really not to keep items just in case. I read on one blog that if a 'just in case' item could be replaced for $20 or less and within 20 miles of where you live that it's probably worth letting go of the item. The odds are good you won't need it and if you do the item is easily replaceable. I find that to be very helpful advice.

Minimalism is different for everyone. Some take it to the extreme with a bed on the floor! I'm not going that far, but I'm definitely looking to reduce our stash of things that don't add full value to our lives. What do you think of minimalism.

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