Another Month of Minimizing

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Recently, a few friends asked about my minimizing efforts as it related to my wardrobe and just all our stuff in general. Let me put it out there that I am by no means an expert. I never read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” though I know plenty of people who did who said it was amazing. And though I’m aware of the basic principles of the KonMari Method, not all of them make sense for me. There are plenty of items in my home that I do not find joy in, yet they are functional (sometimes multifunctional) and I will hang on to them from a practicality standpoint.

Let me warn you that once you start minimizing, you may get hooked. Once you learn to let go of a few things and realize there are no repercussions–that you don’t even miss those things–it becomes easier and easier to donate or trash more items. I am slowly distinguishing between need and want, and though I believe it’s important to fill my spaces with mainly needs, I understand that having a few wants in the mix is the right balance for me.

As we have been holed up inside much of the week thanks to the weather and family germ-sharing, I’ve had time to swipe more toys from the playroom and garage, as well as purge another closet, sorting what to keep, donate and trash. I dropped off a truckload full of items to our local Christian thrift store…in the dually…by myself…with the three kids…and it was super easy (aka no parking or unloading of the kids was involved). #smallvictories

There is so much going on inside my head when it comes to minimizing, especially existing stuff in my home. Sure, I’ve given away a ton of extraneous stuff–stuff we don’t need and don’t miss. But I’m still working on specific areas. For instance, in the RV we will likely have just five or six towels, and yet in my home we have three times that many. So do I get rid of the extra now, or wait until we sell the house? Part of me is leaning toward getting accustomed to less now.

James, my husband, wants to sell everything: furniture, appliances, kitchen items, electronics, you name it. But to me, minimalism isn’t just about living with less stuff, it’s about wasting less, too. It’s about not always buying new, but buying used. It’s about owning less, but also spending less. It’s about repurposing what you do have to fill a need. I am so guilty of buying something new when I need it instead of looking around me for other options.

Many families who RV full-time either sell all their belongings or rent a storage unit. We are very fortunate that we can store items in my Grandma’s basement for free for a year. So instead of selling some of our larger furniture items (such as my couch sectional) for half the price we paid for them (or less), it makes sense to store them for a year so we don’t have to come completely out of pocket furnishing a new house when we return.

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Also, my mom helped me find much of my furniture and decor from consignment stores and antique outlets. During the past 2.5 years, we’ve upcycled many cheap items by sanding and painting or repurposing altogether. These items would hardly fetch any money, so I plan to keep them just because I have a free storage option. Decor that I don’t love, I will donate, because there’s no use hanging on to (non-functional) decorative items that don’t make my space happy.

I got rid of a lot of duplicative kitchen items last summer when I first began minimizing. And I will run another sweep through my kitchen cabinets before we put the house on the market this spring. But until we buy an RV, it’s hard to imagine exactly what will fit in the kitchen area, so right now it’s a guessing game as to what existing kitchen items we can take with us.

I’m saving my approach to minimizing my wardrobe for another post, so watch out for it soon.

And as much as I think I’ve done a decent job minimizing stuff in my 2,400-square-foot house, I’m sure it will seem like nothing when we begin to pack our 400-square-foot RV.

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