Friday, August 29, 2008

Turns out, I'm a minimalist.

I've decided I have too much crap. Way too much crap. The idea occurred to me on my last trip to Bear Lake. We were having a family reunion, and since the water has fallen it's a bit of a walk from the place we were staying, to the beach.

But still, it's just a trip to the beach, you don't need that much stuff, right?


All of my cousins and uncles and aunts had to fill cars of stuff, just to get down to the beach. We couldn't carry it because of all our stuff. We had to take chairs, and food, and water, and sun screen, and toys for the kids, and an awning for shade, and towels, books, plates for the food, cups for the water, and on and on and on. It blew my mind. I got to thinking about it and I realized all I really needed was a towel (Douglas Adams was right), and a book. And even the book was optional.

We carried all this stuff down and all it did was get in the way. I noticed the kids didn't really play with all the sand toys we brought. Sure, every once in a while they would, but for the most part they were just playing in the water. I think we spent more time as adults chasing down toys that were blowing or floating away than the kids ever spent on the toy.

The food got sandy, the awning blew over, the water was warm, the cups got scattered...It was silly.

You know, when we got rid of our second car, it was really hard for about 10 days. I kept being put out that I couldn't just up and go somewhere, even if Sue had the car. And now I don't give it a second thought. I bike more, I walk more, I take the bus. We just don't need it. We're saving money, the environment, and I'm more healthy. I think the concept of less is more is true in many different areas.

I've decided that there is a high cost when you buy something, no matter what the price is. I want to simplify, but first I need to convince the family it's in our best interest to do so.

I guess I'll start with my stuff. I have held on to a lot of things that I just don't need. The DI is about to get a whole pile of stuff. If you're willing to pay the price, feel free to wander on over and pick some of it up.


Kimberly said...

Get ready for an emotional high. There's something exhilarating about clearing the clutter from our lives. We don't realize how it suffocates us till we get rid of it and remember what it is to truly breathe.

Have fun!

Flashlight Girl said...

Amen, brother! Each time we move and we're living with only the "essentials" until the rest is unpacked, I'm convinced that we should just call the DI to send a truck over. It is so much easier!! Not to mention less cluttered and disorganized. Alas, no one but me sees it this way. Project Man has a serious case of "Hoarding Disorder NOS"-- you won't find that in the DSM-V. He's been officially banned from visiting the DI- ever. Enjoy your liberation from CRAP! (One tip, if there are items that have particular sentimental qualities, but are just in the way, take a couple of pictures of the stuff to label and stick in your journal or scrapbook or whatever. That way it's "there" for posterity.)

Christie said...

Flashlight Girl had some great ideas. And I'm with you when it comes to less being more. I'm notorious for tossing stuff. In fact, when my husband can't find something his first response is to ask me if I gave it away. Maybe I did, and maybe I didn't.

Suko said...

Less is more (I'll follow my own advice and leave it at that!)