This month has been so refreshing. I’ve been stripping everything away and slowly putting back only the very few things that are most important to me. What do I choose to spend my time, my money, and my energy doing? I don’t need to include something in my life just because I have always done it before. I don’t need to include something in my life just because other people think I should. I don’t need to include something in my life if it doesn’t fit with my current priorities. I have loved the feeling of holding loosely to my habits of the past. There’s a clarity you find when you let the dust of a hectic life settle down around you and you begin to sift through the pieces to rebuild again.
I’ve always been attracted to the minimalist style. The way that they edit and edit and edit again until they’ve gotten down to the very basics of life. This month I’ve been focusing on minimizing my possessions, my commitments, my decisions…anything to bring more peace to my life and get me back to the most basic of priorities: God, family, service, togetherness, beauty.
So this month I’ve minimized:
- the items in my kitchen. getting rid of unused gadgets, that second waffle iron that makes different shapes, lots and lots of dishes I don’t like.
- the stuff I keep in my dining room chest to decorate the mantel and table and island with for parties and holidays (other than Christmas). some of those things that I was saving for someday had simply never been used. now that chest has just the essentials for baby shower hosting and fall and spring tablescapes.
- my everyday house decorations. I’m still working on this one, but I’ve at least edited the “knick knacks” in my living room and donated most of them. I moved a hutch out of our breakfast nook that I didn’t really need…I’ll hang some art on the wall in its place. I’m not a clutter loving person anyway, so after editing, my surfaces are actually looking quite bare today. I’m okay with that for now. I think it’s probably good for me to let go of trying to make my house look magazine worthy. I’m going to get comfortable with a more sparse look and enjoy just the metronome I practiced piano to as a girl, a dried gourd Aunt Krissy gave me, and a few indoor plants. I’m even going to live without our slipcovers until spring, I’m hoping. That will be one less thing to spend spare minutes straightening.
- computer time. It wasn’t that I was spending a whole lot of time on the computer, it’s just that checking my email, my facebook, or my blog comments for a minute or two whenever I happened to walk by the computer was eating up chunks of time without much payback. I’m trying to discover what adds value to my life. Email only needs to be checked once a day. Facebook isn’t necessary for now. I may sign up again just to keep contact with my cousins sometime in the next month. I do miss that aspect. Blogging is a perfect medium for me…photography and writing and reflecting all in one little package. I process my life and my feelings through writing and photography, so I want to spend some regular time doing that again.
- my wardrobe. I mentioned that I wanted to cut back and I’ve done a lot of that this month. I decided to try on every outfit in my closet and only keep those that make me really look great. You know those ones that you put on and think, wow, I feel good in this outfit. I got rid of the rest. My closet can breathe and it makes mornings so much smoother. I don’t have to wear an outfit just because I haven’t worn it in awhile. I only have to wear the very best. And I don’t even have to feel guilty because I passed the rest along to a friend who’s just lost a lot of weight and has a very limited budget. Win-Win.
I have a long way to go in minimizing my life. When I want inspiration I check out mnmlist.com and its great links and I feel reenergized to cut back to only the very best things in life. But it’s definitely a process and a lifestyle that I’ve always been attracted to and one I’ll be continuing to document here. Now I’m off to tame that pile that’s going to the donation truck this week!