Thursday, October 4, 2012

Minimalism, week two

So I was feeling pretty good about coming out as a minimalist last week, until Eric pointed out that we already are minimalists.

The evidence: We have a small house, we don't have cable, we don't go shopping for fun, we don't collect anything, we're good about purging, and our phones are really old "dumb phones."

"Some people might call that cheap and frugal instead of minimalist, though," he added as an afterthought. I told him THAT is just because we're cheap and frugal.  (Hardy har har.)

But I still think there's more we can do.  Even if we don't bring that much in (well, aside from groceries and the things we need to sustain our lives, like hair dye and books... you know, the important junk), we tend to hang onto our stuff with an iron grip.  Because we might need it someday.  And that needs to stop.

That's been the biggest eye opener for me as far as this whole minimalism thing goes--why am I holding onto, say, this Pampered Chef serving platter I got when Abby was two?  That I haven't used since 2002?  That's been living in the bottom of my hutch so long I actually forgot I own it?  And even though I knew in my head why I should get rid of it, I still put it in my kitchen, next to the cutting boards, just in case.  After four days of having that platter clanging around every time I reached for a cutting board, it's now downstairs with the rest of my discarded kitchenware.  Never underestimate the power of annoyance.

And if I do end up needing a platter someday?  Chances are really good I could borrow one from my mother or mother-in-law.  Or use other "dishes" that could easily become "platters" in a pinch.

Which means: I really don't need that platter.  And letting fear dictate what I keep and what I purge is dumb.

Another eye opener for me is how entrenched I am in the whole consumerism ordeal.  I like to think that I don't fall prey to The Man's advertising scams.  But.  As I cleaned out my hutch and looked at one newly cleaned drawer with only four cloth napkins inside--inherited from either my grandma or Eric's, I forget--my first thought wasn't, "Wow, this clean drawer is awesome," but "Hey, I have room now for more cloth napkins!"  I laughed when I caught myself going down that path--of course I don't need more cloth napkins just to fill a drawer.  Four is plenty, especially since we have dish clothes that pretty much accomplish the same goal.  I am happy with four napkins.  Eight napkins, or 16, or 32, won't make me any happier.  It'd just mean more laundry and more to take care of.

Yay four napkins!

I've been a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of discarded crap piling up in the basement, but Eric has reminded me that it's okay because every single item down there means we're one step closer to our minimalist goals.  (Yep, Eric is on board.  Hallelujah!)  Plus, it's a basement.  Who sees it anyway?

Oh, but on THAT front, I managed to get rid of some pots and pans this weekend.  To someone who wanted to use them for "garden art."  Hey, whatever lady.  And do you by chance want a serving platter?

Next up: The master bathroom.  That should be fun.

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