Friday, July 10, 2015

Becoming a Minimalist

I've become a minimalist in a big way in the last few months. We sold our big house and moved into a 500 sq ft cottage near the beach. None of my furniture (except the Queen size bed in Jake's room) fit, so we moved it, and stuff, and sold all of our other stuff and bought a couch. That's all I need. A bed, a couch, some stuff. Oh and a desk. That's all I need. A bed, a couch, some stuff, a desk. Oh and a lamp. That's all I need.

I feel like I have purged to the nth degree and now, I feel like I still have a lot of stuff. How does that happen?

I like the new place. We found this great rental (buying here would be above our means and we intend to always live below our means), it's a block from the beach, built in the 20's with hardwood floors, a great yard and an excellent vibe. I'm going to local shops, organizing the house, organizing my computer and generally settling in. It's weird to move again after 9 years. 9 years. That's the longest I've lived anywhere. Jake grew up in that house. It was perfect for that time in our lives, but I am ready to let it go and move on.

When I had to deal with all my Dad's stuff and then 6 months later, all the stuff that belonged to Jeannie, that experience set the tone for being done with managing stuff. I would rather have experiences and time with other people, and of course time to write. Not that I consider anyone else having stuff to be wrong - I just don't want it anymore.

My friend Paula told me about the web site and their message resonated with me on many levels. Kevin and I started having talks about being frustrated by having too much stuff. Having a big house makes it easy to have more stuff because it doesn't look cluttered. There were cabinets and space for everything. Some of those conversations led to talks of downsizing by selling the house, then to consciously getting rid of anything we didn't LOVE or NEED.

One of the novels I'm working on deals with our attachments to things and how it gets in the way of human relationships. My Dad was for sure a pack rat and Jeannie was as well. It took me over 2 years to completely dispose of their belongings and many of you have the same issues in your families. But aside from shows on TV like Hoarders that show the worst of these cases, we don't talk about it in polite society.

I just don't want my kid to have to deal with that in 20 years or so. Wait, let's make that 30 years. And - I'm happier with less stuff. I'm happy. That's what it's all about.

I wouldn't say I'm a hard core Minimalist yet and maybe I will never be, but I certainly like being able to sit in the yard, write a blog post on my computer, drink a beer and not have to do some house related project or work to earn money to spend on stuff. I recommend it. Becoming a Minimalist that is.