Thursday, April 7, 2011

Minimalism: A Crusade Against Stuff

I enjoy cleaning and getting rid of things. I leave my husband's things alone, although I am definitely guilty of nagging now and then. After reading do books make the reader? on Minimalist Mom, I was inspired to overhaul our library. My husband and I ended up with 182 books to sell or donate, which I think is about one third of our collection. It's a good feeling. We kept books that we like to read on a regular basis, books with sentimental value, and almost all of our Christian books (as these are harder to find in public libraries).

A few of our stacks waiting to go on their way.
Tonight I sorted through my four filing cabinet drawers and pulled out papers to be recycled, a stack which measured about three feet high when I was done. Many of these were hard copies of papers I wrote in college or handouts from seminars and workshops I attended. I had saved them, thinking I would need them in the future. Wrong. I also found some useful professional resources, which I will be donating to my employer when I have my exit interview tomorrow.

Last week, I ransacked our house for unused or duplicate items and donated about twelve cubic feet of stuff to Matthew's Closet, where my mom volunteers. What is amazing is that our house looks largely the same. There are no gaping holes or suddenly vacant cupboards. There are a few shelves that hold photos instead of books. It is easier to find serving utensils in the kitchen drawer. I have more room in my filing cabinet. That's all. It is mind-boggling to consider how many things we own when filling a small car doesn't make a dent in our possessions.

What do you do to keep your home from becoming a storage facility?

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