Do you often wonder what your end game is with minimalism or decluttering? How far do you want to go with it and what will it look like? And if you go to the edge, eliminate ruthlessly, will you some day add back in?
Katy of the Non-Consumer Advocate had a great post up at Get Rich Slowly: When Does Minimalism Go Too Far? Katy’s been blogging about her efforts at simpler, frugal, green and sustainable living for three years. She’s been at this a good while and she’s watched the bloom of minimalist bloggers and the wave of radical minimalists come and go. I value her point of view. She also just made a killing on eBay from a jar of marbles she bought for $3. Smart woman.
If you have time read the post and then take a look through the comments section. Good stuff there and a lot of comments that I identified with.
I think you go to far when a lifestyle choice becomes an obsession. Or you’re not enjoying the process. Sure, the initial phase of decluttering was a lot of work. And some of it was painful but not because I was sad about getting rid of things. I was mad at myself for wasting money on them. That hurt.
Now we’re in what I consider a sweet spot. We still have stuff and a lot of it is nonessential. Because when you get down to it what’s really essential? A spot to sleep, a pot to cook in and clothing on your back. You could even get by without a plate. Just use your Spork to eat right out of the pot. Instead we have a home with things that we use regularly and I know exactly what’s hiding in our little storage cubby (seasonal clothing, Christmas tree, fan, little step stool, two camping chairs, luggage).
Our move overseas will probably take us to the edge of not being comfortable. Even with shipping 3-4 boxes and taking 3 suitcases on the flight, we will arrive with a lot less than we currently have. No furniture. Just a few toys for Henry. No dishes or cutlery. Even if we rent a furnished flat we will be buying some new, or new to us, housewares.
I’m excited about going to the edge and coming back. I’m excited to have some patience and stick to a list and not drop hundreds of dollars at the UK equivalent to Target on random household items. I want a trip to IKEA to be a last resort. I’m not going to force my family to sit on the floor for dinner… for too long anyways.
The thing I’m focused on most is the process and not the result. I’ve spent a lot of my life living in some day instead of today. Moving overseas will be challenging. I’m not looking forward to a toddler adjusting to a nine hour time change. But I am up for the greater challenge of continuing on with a rich life with less stuff.
Do you have a vision for what your home and life will look like at the end of the process? Are you living in the vision or living the sweat and fun of the process?
Like what you read here at The Minimalist Mom? Sign up by RSS or Email to get posts delivered to you. You can also find The Minimalist Mom on Facebook (I’ve deleted my personal account but have a page for this blog). Comments are always read, appreciated and responded to – even if we don’t agree on the subject at hand.