Learning the Hard Way
Minimizing What We Live With on a Daily Basis takes time and planning. I learned the hard way that not planning time to minimize caused us to stop and start so often it has taken us many years to finish. It also cost us time, energy, and money. If you take the time to minimize on a daily basis, you’ll finish sooner. It takes working at it daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly consistently to get to where you want to be.
Material things take up space physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you don’t use them or aren’t able to view them for enjoyment, it’s time to minimize! The time it takes to care for things such as items that need to be polished, for example, takes time away from doing things you enjoy. As you get older, your needs change and you realize that physical things are not important, so spending time caring for them becomes a burden. Why not learn how to live a minimal life now instead of having to work hard to get there later?
To Minimize is a Process
Minimizing is definitely a process, especially when trying to get a family of teenagers and young adults on board. It took much longer than we thought. We were in our last house for four years and still had things to get rid of. With the kids constantly moving in and out for so long, we just couldn’t finish. And it doesn’t help that my dad has trouble throwing things away, so he has to find people to give things to. I’m first or second on his list of people to ask. After all, who wouldn’t want a brand new set of soft linens for the bed?
Thank God we already got rid of about 70% of things we didn’t need. We downsized homes from 2400 square feet to 2200 square feet to 1400 square feet. However, we still had a lot of things our daughter left in our garage that she couldn’t take with her when she moved out of state. In order to get rid of more of it, my daughter and I spent several weekends on Skype. I’d go through each box, showing her what was inside, tossing what she’d let me and repacking the rest. Then there were my son’s things that thankfully he took on one of his last visits home after he too moved out of state.
Best Laid Plans
We moved again, also out of state. I had to go into overdrive to try to finalize our minimizing. We did very well. I must have gotten rid of more than 16 boxes, plus a lot of collectibles like Barbie’s and accessories, My Little Pony horses and accessories, classic books, you name it. While we did not finalize our minimizing, we could fit almost everything into a 20 foot U-Haul. And guess what? We are able to park two cars in the garage!
How did I do it you ask?
~ Get a friend to come help.
~ Turn off the computer and phone.
~ Take everything out of boxes.
~ Only put back what you know you’ll use.
~ Take photos of what you don’t want and have a garage sale or post on Craig’s List or Freecycle.
The New House
We still had to leave a lot in the garage between being snowed in and dealing with repairs. During a weather break a few weeks ago, we drove up to our daughter’s house and dropped off the rest of her boxes, 11 in all. We will take one more trip to deliver her paintings, but those are manageable. I now have several boxes of items and some furniture to sell at a garage sale. It’s a good way to get to know the neighbors. We’re working on getting rid of the rest of our collections too. My office is half the size of my last one, yet, I have everything I need.
I can’t wait until Spring and warm weather to get rid of what I hope is the last of things we don’t use or need in our life and minimize once and for all. Stay tuned…
More articles on Minimizing and getting rid of stuff
What Matters Most
The Queen of Purge
How much is too much
Successful Moving Strategies
How To Get Organized With A House Full of Shtuff
Are You Defining Yourself by the Things You Keep? Just Get Rid of it
We are not consumed
Why Are You Keeping It?