I didn’t always feel this way. I use to love to buy stuff. Or win stuff. Or receive a gift of stuff. But now we have too much. Too much stuff. Everything I own feels like a burden.
It’s easy to fall into the thinking that we just don’t have enough space to properly store our stuff. Or that if we just had a bit more time, we would enjoy using, sorting, cleaning, and organizing our stuff more. But I am not sure that is true.
Even the stuff I do like and use feels like a burden right now. I am currently sitting at my kitchen table, staring at the curtains. They are nice. They are the insulated to help keep out the heat in summer and cold in the winter. They also provide privacy. They look nice enough, I suppose. (I don’t really care what curtains look like.)
But they really need to be washed.
They are dark brown and I can see a layer of dust coating the top. I tried taking a swifter to them a few weeks ago, to no avail. That is 12 panels of curtains that need to be washed. I don’t want to do any more laundry. Mr. Mt. and I tackle about 15 loads of laundry a week already. My curtains feel like a burden.
Plus last time I washed them, a few sets started showing so much wear, that I fear in this next washing they will dissolve completely. Then I need to go buy some new ones. I hate buying curtains. Buying more curtains is down there on my list of least favorite ways to spend my day. Then I will need to wash those damn new ones too, just to get the creases out.
I want to appreciate all the things in my life and home. But I don’t right now.
So we are continuing our journey towards a more minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism with 5 kids is like trying to weed a 1 acre garden. By the time you make it to one end, the place you started has 2 foot weeds already grown up. It’s a process that we have been at for a few months. But I have put a halt on all other big projects till this is done. No more kitchen remodels, no bathroom renos, no new shingles.
More important, I am not giving in and buying a shed till we have finished my minimalism challenge (I will write more about that for you later). If we buy storage space before actually dealing with our crap, it feels like we have just given in to the sickness. Stuff-itace.
I want to feel happy about every possession in our home. I want to feel like the work of sorting, cleaning, and maintaining that possession is well worth the value it provides. Because every item is a time commitment. Perhaps it’s a small time commitment. Add enough of those together and it squeezes out the time I really want to spend doing other things. Hanging out in my back yard. Going to the lake. Reading a book.
For years I only owned 7 pairs of shoes. I’m not sure when more began to creep in, but they have. Each pair is an obligation. Once a year I wax them. Once a week I vacuum under them, and straighten them up in my entry way. Twice a year I move the summer/winter ones from downstairs to upstairs. One of my favorite pairs of boots had the zipper break. Now I need to find a boot zipper repair person to fix it. Each pair I add complicates the decision of what pair to wear that day. 15 pairs is more work than 7. It all adds up. And right now the cost is too high.
My hope is by reducing the amount of stuff (and corresponding time commitment it entails), I will feel truly grateful for the things we keep. If I can separate the wheat from the chaff, I can appreciate the wheat. Right now it is all lumped together and all my stuff feels like a burden.