That means trashing things or giving them away, and I am undertaking this colossal task with grim determination. The goal is to uncover more shelf and closet space which will lead to a bare, minimalistic lifestyle. I have a recurrent dream where I reside in a serene, organized world devoid of human clutter. And so, I have begun a waking journey to bring that dream alive. And even though my family all laugh at the improbability of such a result, minimalism is still my goal.
GOODBYE OLD CLOTHES – WELCOME SPACE AND ORDER
First I managed to donate a bunch of not-so-flattering apparel to a worthy cause. So there! Even though most things were out of date or waste-cinching to the point of asphyxiation, discarding them was still painful. What if I lost 40 pounds and fit into that skinny mini skirt? And even though I haven’t worn that sweater in 15 years, it was one of my favorites. What if it comes back in style?
Sweet success! I gleefully gave bags of clothes away and after three trips in three days to the Good Will box, Ralph (the fellow who helps me unload) is now a best friend. Yes, it was an agonizing sacrifice but how noble I feel! And the real bonus is all that extra space! Look at that bare shelf would you? This is what life is all about – downsizing toward minimalism!
Then I received a coupon in the mail! It was for 25% off my entire purchase at a favorite local department store. Well, I had to check that out didn’t I? And I came home with some real bargains because there was a big secondary sale on that day too. Uh Oh! The empty slots in the closets and drawers are filling up again. I have to try something else…..
BASKETS GALORE – OUT THE DOOR
I love baskets. I suppose you would say I collect them because they are upstairs, downstairs, in cabinets and closets, and in the corners and niches of every room. You can do so many things with baskets. Once again, grimly determined, I went at this project with a brutal cut-and-run attitude. I found new owners for twelve of the baskets, and then, puffed up with pride I thought, “Voila! Spaces in the corners again! Wow! I am definitely a minimalist!”
Then yesterday I stopped at our local Habitat for Humanity thrift store and simply could not resist the perfect basket for holding magazines (only 50 cents!), and another for sorting mail, and there was a wine basket that would be perfect for summer flower arrangements! I wound up purchasing six new baskets. Well, I have the room now don’t I? And the total was only $7.50. Uh Oh! Available home space is becoming limited.
USE BY 2009 – OUT THE DOOR IN 2012
Two shelves in a kitchen cabinet are dedicated to health giving supplements, vitamins, and other medicinal remedies. Things don’t fall out when you open a door, but there is still an element of chaotic confusion. What vitamins are hidden way way back in the dark recesses of those cabinet shelves? O.K., it’s time to inspect the Use By dates again. I am pleased to report I discarded at least six bottles of things that are no longer applicable and which might cause instant death upon ingesting. O.K. – I know where I am now and can say to myself, “We have enough of that, and that, and everything is up to date. I will save that in case someone else wants to take it. I’m organized. This is it. I have created order out of chaos and I am now a minimalist!”
On second thought, I did need B vitamins – so I ordered two bottles of that. The multivitamin is also running low, so I might as well get extras of everything now. We’re o.k. on calcium but the catalog has that on sale, so I’ll get eight bottles of that too. Really, it’s something I always take so it won’t go to waste. What if there is a pandemic? So I’m restocked and guess what? There is still chaos in those two cabinets.
You can see where this is going.
But I’m upsizing at the same time!
There is less space and order now than when I began the project! If I juggle some things around and trash some others, my family many not discover I’m failing at the minimalist goal.
Now don’t tell me you are laughing too!
“For the most part, we, who could choose simplicity, choose complication.”
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, in Gift From the Sea