First of all, I need to disclose that I’ve edited comments I made in the blog listed below and have incorporated them into this post. After commenting, I felt that I could say more here, but I wanted to include some of those ideas. Not sure if this is an accepted practice, but heck, they’re my own words.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This is something new for me; but it’s been hovering around for a while now. I’m just at the stage of reading more about it, but struggle with something that goes against what we, as a society, are taught. It’s the Minimalistic Lifestyle. While we are taught that the more material possessions we collect, the better off we are and the happier we will be. I subscribed to this blog, Minimalistic Living, and read posts about reducing the “things” and clutter in my life. While I read, I was surprised that I wanted to read more. DH is always saying that I have TOO much stuff. I really don’t think he’s right given that we really don’t have too much by way of possessions to begin with. I think it’s more that we’ve got to manage it better. Both of us are not good organizers at all. It’s something that I feel I’ve got to do. Maybe it’s a way of regaining some kind of control over my life.
One thing that I feel I have to do, and I’ve resolved to do this, is destashing the bulk of my yarn. My friends are shocked, but really, I feel myself floundering. I realize that I have way too much yarn and it’s obvious that I will never use all of it up in my lifetime. Also, I was not an informed buyer. I did not buy with a project in mind and as a result, I never have enough yarn in my stash to start a decent project other than shawls, cowls, and other smallish projects. My family are not very keen on receiving woolen garments, so how many shawls or blankets can I make for myself? For around three years or so I donated some nice items for church raffles, to create more winners than just two or three money winners. Last time, I was very nicely rejected and so I don’t have that outlet any longer… Their loss, really. Anyway, I’ve decided that I don’t just want to give it away. I want to sell my stash to get back at least some of what I paid for it… Quite a bit of expensive yarn. Getting rid of my yarn also frees up my time for other hobbies like spinning and the product? Yarn. Ah, I feel like I’m on a tangent, so I’m reeling myself in….
The truth is that I don’t know much about this different lifestyle, but both my husband and myself are uncomfortable with the clutter and that happens a lot. My apartment, the place I call home, is a collection of mismatched furniture which projects upon me the sense of unsettledness. I have a nice, largish dining room but from the start, I didn’t want a dining room set. I wanted open space and so we had a large, mostly empty room for a couple years. Now there are two six foot lunch tables, shoved together to create a big square table with two vinyl tablecloths. I have two bedroom pieces in my dining room. One is an antique dresser that was my grandmothers’ and I simply will not give it away. I actually used it for a changing table, covered with a lot of towels. The second piece is another plain dresser. I’m thinking that once I destash the yarn, I’ll have a place for the stuff in this dresser and maybe I can get rid of it. A little plan. Still, I’m uncomfortable with the place. Ugh… maybe I just hate my life.
I’m wondering what “minimalist” really refers to. Does it refer to diminishing the quantity of stuff I have, or in how I’m managing what we do have? Can I get away with just organizing it better; or do I have to actually whittle down everything we have to consider myself conforming to the idea. What IS the idea? HA… I’m new to this. Will I do better by not directly telling myself that I’ll be getting rid of stuff. The biggest problem will be determining what the non-essential items are. I love my computer, I love my ipad. I loved my smartphone until I had to give it up. It’s been almost a year and I gotta say that I don’t miss it at all. If given the chance in the future, I’m not sure I’d go for the smart phone. That shit’s expensive and I’m not sure I want to hand over such a big chunk of my money just to have a smartphone. I think it’s a waste of money. The contracts, all the charges separated and charged. The young people probably don’t remember when everything was one flat rate and data was unlimited. It’s a disgrace what this world is turning into.
My hubby is always saying that I have too much stuff, yet he avoids getting rid of the garbage, non-essential stuff. We both procrastinate making progress with all this. He keeps old, useless sneakers even after he’s purchased new ones. He even still wears them and I know, too, because his feet stink to high heaven. I can smell it through the sheets. He takes too long sorting through stuff he intends on recycling; while I tend to keep things around because I fear that I’ll need that, whatever it is, almost as soon as I throw it away, and that HAS happened.
I’m realizing that stuff will not make me happy. I knew this already, and yet, it’s news to me… scandalous! In a way, I feel as if I’m leading a minimalist life right now because our spending has dropped way down to just the essentials like food and when the time comes, school uniform and supplies. I’m realizing that I don’t have to buy new things every time school starts, well, except for uniforms, so I’m not going to buy all new. I’m going to buy new supplies once the old ones either break or until they really wear down. HA… all this is kind of ironic, given that I have hoarding tendencies. Just watching Extreme Hoarders on TV gives me the kick in the ass to clear off my cluttered spots. My MIL was an extreme hoarder. Now that she lives in FL with her daughter, she doesn’t do it anymore. I’ve learned so much from her and I miss her. I learned to reuse the wax paper bags from cereal boxes. That’s great, clean stuff after you shake it out and I haven’t bought new waxed paper in almost a decade and I never run out of it. I open the bag up at the seams and most times is the perfect size… Or I use them to throw out wet/food garbage (we can’t compost).
Everyone has that one niche, unique to them, that needs to be satisfied, whether it’s electronics, or clothing, or whatever. I think that with the things we don’t want to eliminate completely, there is the responsibility to not get carried away and indulge ourselves past the point that is reasonable. I have a ton of clothes and this summer, I am seeing that I’m not wearing half of them. I’m so afraid that I’ll need something right when it’s not there. My style preferences change all the time, I wear a different style of clothes to church and have different one to just hang out. My goal with this is to have a place, a hanger for everything, and whatever doesn’t have a place, needs to get donated somewhere. Since I discovered second hand shops, I’ve made it a point to get my clothes just from there. It’s fun to do and the quality is good to excellent; not to mention the reasonable prices.
So, we’ll see where this goes….