Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action. If you’d like to submit your story of how simplicity has worked in your life, please read more here. You can write about anything from decluttering a junk drawer to simplifying your diet. Let your small and big changes inspire others.
In 2007 I got engaged. We had just moved back to the Mainland from Hawaii and, after “making do” in our small 500-square-foot apartment, we thought it was time to upsize our lives.
As many newly engaged couples do, we happily shopped and registered for all kinds of items at Amazon.com and Crate & Barrel. I really enjoyed picking out all kinds of fun stuff I was ready to “need.”
I thought the brand-new food processor & mixer seemed like appropriate items to get, and so onto the registry it went. Never mind that I don’t really cook.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I was in the kitchen and my eyes caught sight of the mixer and food processor we received as wedding gifts. They both sat there unopened and unused.
I felt guilty that I’d never opened them and wondered why I had thought that by just having them around I would somehow want to cook more.
Then I started looking around the rest of the house and suddenly realized we had really done a fantastic job of accumulating a *lot* of stuff.
Along with completely unused items, it seemed we had extras of everything, too: office supplies, toiletries, shoes for this & shoes for that, jackets for this & jackets for that. How
had this happened?
We collected some things because of seemingly good reasons, like:
- We had the space and figured we could find a use for it somehow.
- We thought maybe some day we might have a need for it, so we’d better keep it “just in case.”
- We thought it might spur us into adopting and honing new skills (like cooking, perhaps?).
But, looking around, I knew that most of this was just stuff. Stuff we didn’t really need, stuff we never really used, stuff we didn’t even want.
The timing was good, though, because around the same time my husband and I had decided we were ready for a big change. We had decided to move to Alaska.
Now that we’ll be moving again – and this time most everything we own will need to fit in our car – my husband and I are ready and excited to be really ruthless in giving away or selling practically everything.
We’re now two months into this new challenge and with every item that leaves our house, I feel a sense of lightness.
Somehow our stuff was weighing me down. Our house became a bit too cluttered and a bit too full of extraneous things and it ended up affecting my mental peace.
I’m just getting started and it already feels incredible. It’s been a lot easier letting go of things than I’d ever imagined, and I only wish we’d started sooner.
I can’t wait to continue sorting through our things and paring down our belongings to the absolute essentials (plus a few meaningful and fun things, too). It’ll be like a brand new start.
More inspiration to live with less …