This year I have worked towards being a minimalist. Using the least amount of “stuff” possible.
There was a point in my life when I lost everything and me and my kids shared a bedroom that we rented. We had nothing. When I started to get back on my feet, I began replacing the things that we had lost. But not only was I replacing items, I was adding to it. We had nothing, so I wanted everything! I mostly shopped at thrift stores and yard sales, but also accepted items from people that were given to us.
When we moved here to Colorado, I couldn’t believe all the junk I had. I didn’t think it was that much until it barely all fit in the U-Haul. But still, it was my stuff, mine, I didn’t want to lose any of it.
After a while, during the healing process I suppose, I started to look at my place with new eyes. And I saw a lot of stuff, some nice, some junk. I asked myself, what would I do if I lost everything again, if I had to walk away, right now, this moment, could I pack a bag of necessities and leave everything else behind? I really wanted to say yes, I didn’t like the fact that I had become attached to “things”.
So I began the shift in my thought process of letting go of material objects. Watching Hoarders on A&E definitely motivated me, even though I wasn’t a hoarder like them, but I was on the path. I kept thinking, it’s just “stuff”. Almost everything is replaceable. The things that aren’t are the things I need to make sure I have secured. So,at the beginning of the year, as my New Years Resolution, I decided to streamline my apartment.
It truly is an ongoing process, but, when you get started, you have to take on some big projects. Over the summer I lost my motivation, but seeing as a move to California might be in my future, the vision of packing and moving my things is motivating me again.
Here’s a list of what I’ve done so far and what I still need to do:
Book Project: Switched from books to ereaders. Even the kids. Donated all our books except our most favorites! We still love to go to the library and read “real” books. But we don’t buy any.
DVD Project: Transferred DVDs from their cases to DVD Binders & sleek sleeve drawers I found at Best Buy. I would like to find a way to digitize my movies onto an online storage system (like iTunes, but for movies), but I have not found anything yet (I might try Walmarts UltraViolet). I reduced my DVD storage space by 90%. We don’t like the drawer things, so my goal is to transfer those DVDs into more binders. I got them at Amazon.
Photo Project: Scanned photos from photo albums onto disks to make streamline photo books. Very tedious work! I almost have all of my photos scanned, but I need to get the photo books made, which I will most likely do through Walgreens.
Bedroom/Toy Project: I am completely minimal when it comes to my sleeping area. I share a room with my daughter, and actually, I have a corner of the room. I sleep on a floor mat (which I LOVE) and I use up only half of the closet. I don’t even have a dresser, instead I use a couple of baskets which I keep in my side of the closet. The kids and I weeded through their toys and donated what they didn’t want. They are very attached to their stuffed animals so I had to come up with some nifty storage ideas.
Clothes Project: We all do this. Weed out the old clothes. But really, how many pairs of jeans to you need? Will you really ever fit into that pair again? And if you do, wouldn’t you want to go out and get yourself a new pair? Same goes with shoes, and purses. One of the things I did was switch my huge purse to a wristlet. It’s great! My phone slides in perfectly, even some lip gloss, it’s everything I need, such freedom!
Xmas Project: This one I am waiting to do when it’s time to decorate for the Holidays, and I cant wait! I know I have way too much Christmas crap and I can’t wait to get rid of the majority of it.
Art and Office Supplies: I am paperless on all of my bills and correspondences. But I want to be completely paperless and scan all my documents and paper files into digital format. I also need to go through our art & office supplies. We love to do crafts, color, draw, write, etc. We have so many crayons and coloring books and pencils and notebooks…it’s quite overwhelming! But dang it, I LOVE this stuff. But do I really need it all? And do I want to move it?
I am super excited to get going on my projects again and finally finish them up! It’s so important to me to know that I am not attached to “things”, that I can let them go at anytime if I need to. I don’t want to have to depend on this “stuff” if I don’t have to. Also, I love all the space I have! It definitely makes my home feel fresh.