Karl and I like to live in smaller spaces, it is our version of minimalism, as we find for ourselves we do not have enough stuff to put into anything larger, and I am sure we will grow into a larger home when we are ready and as we need it, as the kids get bigger. But in the chapter of our lives less is more. We have a goal and a way of life we strive to live by to achieve those goals. Life is about living for us, not collecting things. The mantra I have had for as far as I can remember has been to live life to its fullest, learn, grown, and thrive…do not collect, especially material items for memories if they are not tied to me.
Is It Serving Us A Purpose?
When we purchase new items, we always ask ourselves is it serving us a purpose, and will we have to store it. And yes, there those items we will need to store like the iconic Christmas decorations and Halloween décor. But at the end of the day ‘do we need it. In all honesty, here, if it weren’t for having kids I am sure I would not even decorate, except with maybe a little family heirloom decoration maybe here and there. Nothing more, but sweet and simple. I love the heirlooms as it is a time for me to reflect on memories with loved ones that are no longer with us in physical form. It helps me to connect with them in spirit.
Storing and Being in Canada
Being in Canada we do have to store items as we have the four seasons, but I do not need five winter coats. I have two, one for playing in the snow for activities like sledding and snowboarding, and one I can wear day to day that is easily able to be dressed up using a gorgeous scarf. People often ask us how are you able to move things forward and not hold onto things all the time. My answer is, -it’s not coming with me to the afterlife so why not share it for other people to enjoy it as much as we have. Also, opens the door for out with the old in with the new, a fresh look each season. Unless you are like Karl, he likes to hold onto items until they serve him no purpose or no longer do their job.
We also find clutter adds too much stress, and stress is the number one reason that blinds the mind of seeing, being, and enjoying this gift I call life.
What Is The Point?
What is the point of holding onto an item…is it because you know it cost you $300? I had one piece in our house (notice I said “I”, not “we”) held on for years, and packaged and carried to each new house we rented. Every time I struggled to find a place for it, and yes, of course, I always did, but I hated looking at it. It was not us what so ever, and it just made me resentful and bring up poor anger from a specific chapter in my life for the person who gave it to me.
I started to realize it had no purpose in our lives, I had a client come over one day and they fell in love with it. Every time she came over she would go straight for it. It made me happy when I saw her face lit up, so one afternoon I gave it to her. It felt so good, almost as though I was letting go of this memory, that weighted so heavily on my shoulders, I was moving on from that space in my life that brought me grief. Now after many years of holding on to it, I turned that poor memory into something positive and joyful. I get joy out of it; every time I think about it or see this item in an old picture I think about my clients smile and I get enjoyment out of it, especially knowing it is in someone’s care who can love that item more than I ever could. That is the joy in being a minimalist.
You wonder why I did not sell it and make take money for it, we did try to sell it, we had it simultaneously listed during that time. However, bear in mind it did take me years before allowing myself to let it go for its financial value, forgetting what my true value is. We will always list an item first and manifest the right path for that object. And this path happened to be the one with my client. And for us, memories are worth more to us than money, and that new memory of my client’s joy fulfilled me more than getting money for it. Plus I am sure if I had sold it, I would still have old memories I hated arise each time I saw it in a photo, now I have a new memory to replace those. And I got a lesson out of that transaction.
When we shop, we have NO problems spending the money, we will be the first to buy the $45 bottle of Balsamic vinegar over the $5 one on sale. We are foodies, we appreciate food, we appreciate how it is made, the stories behind the food, and the memories we create enjoying eating that food. There is true value for us in something like that.
We also do watch what we spend, every time we spend we ask ourselves these few questions:
- Is it conflicting with one of our goals, like saving money or investing in businesses?
- Do we have space for it?
- If yes, what is the purpose it will serve for us?
- Do we need it or is it a want?
- If it is a want, does it serve joy?
If I could recommend a book/movie for you to watch or a movement to follow about minimalism, please do. The authors of this book/movie not only inspired us to live a different way, but they helped us define how we see life and live it with more room for joy.
by: Joshua Fields and Millburn Ryan Nicodemus
Here is a Ted Talks with the men who started this movement:
Check out their website and join the movement with us The Minimalists.