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Oct 16 2011

Modern day minimalism

I think we are almost entirely not-quite maybe fully unpacked. Cardboard has been banished from living spaces, there are two tubs full of scrapbooking supplies that need pricing before I throw them into yard-sale storage, and nearly everything has a place to live. When warm weather returns I will have the Mother of All Yard Sales and reclaim the extra garage for organized garden storage, not “throw it in there and pray you find it” storage. Yes, there is a difference.

By moving from Colorado to Chicago’s North Shore, we essentially cut our square footage in half. We knew we were going to lose some space, and we accepted that. Losing as much as we did was unexpected, and for awhile there I wasn’t so sure we were going to fit into this house. There’s a reason I’m having the Mother of All Yard Sales after the move and not before. But we did get some cool things in exchange. Our yard is more than twice the size of the one we left, WITH LEAVES! GLORIOUS AUTUMNAL FALLING LEAVES! THAT KEEP THE BOYS SLAVING WORKING ENTERTAINED FOR HOURS! And we have a 3 1/2 car garage. Yes, you read that right. There is an unattached garage that is ginormously oversized, housing both vehicles with storage room to spare, and an attached storage garage that will someday be converted into living space. Someday. But the rest of the house? Cozy is the polite word.

How much do we really need? Need vs want is always hard to distinguish. I’ll tell ya, though, that moving makes it a lot easier to dispose of the crap you have floating around the house. My mom said “two moves are as good as a fire.” I’d like to avoid both, thankyouverymuch, but having less? I don’t think that’s a bad thing. More stuff means more to store, to clean, to care for. I’d rather have less, of better quality. That’s why I have few shoes, but I’ve started buying higher quality ones. I’d rather buy a high-quality scanner, so I can scan paperwork into the cloud and not have to buy cabinets to store it here at home.

We’re cutting back this winter. Less consumerism, in the hopes of creating more of a life. Part of it is simply because the economy continues to pee in our collective shoes, and part of it is because being happy with less stuff is a good thing to learn.

For all of us.

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  1. Accidental Expert

    You can park your cars in the garage AND store stuff too? I am very, very jealous.

    I’m actually on a big declutter kick too. Five bags of trash and giveaway just went out the door today. It feels good doesn’t it?

  2. Sarah

    We are doing the declutter dance too. Trying to loose the big storage unit and get one that houses just a few things (like x-mas decorations and a select few other things). It kinda feels good 🙂

  3. My Kids Mom

    Clutter makes me stressed, so I tend to leave it in places out of sight. We built some storage into our office area, and then quit using the office. Now the whole space is “throw it in quickly and shut the door before you see what you’ve contributing to creating, lest you begin to think about tidying it.”

  4. Soovereverthing

    We are downsizing too. House is on the market (yeah – I know – bad time to sell) and we are looking for a cute (read smaller) home that we can mold (remodel) into our own. The economy has us concerned since DH works for a small company and really how much space do 3 people and a dog really need. So we are de-cluttering and I have removed no less than 30 bags of either trash or items making their happy way to GoodWill.

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