Thursday, January 24, 2013

minimalism can be good for the soul

In the course of my life, I have always been the kind of person who liked things. Especially as a teenager; posters and pictures covered my bedroom walls, books overflowed the shelves (they still do, but that's another story altogether...hehe), I wore tons of jewelry, and had more colors of nail polish than I needed. Now, not much has changed; I still like things. I still have all those posters, most of which I hope to hang in a movie room/den someday. The books have multiplied and I'm certain will continue to. I don't wear as much jewelry, partly because most of what I did wear over the last decade is broken or faded or hopeless tangled with bits of my hair (ugh). As for nail polish...I have bought a few select colors recently, but since my signature polish is still black, I don't feel the need to have a ton of bottles.

But see, it's one thing when you only have a bedroom in which to cram all your things and you can go to another part of the house at any time. (In my case it was usually the kitchen. I always wished I had a way to boil water for tea in my room. And that I could keep a stash of biscuits. Anyway.) When you join your life with another person, things multiply quite fast. Nate and I both have a lot of things. Granted, in the last year we've managed to pare down a lot of what we don't need or want, but that doesn't change the simple fact that our house has no storage space. I've mentioned that before. And when you have more books and musical instruments than you do dishes (I kid, of course. Well, maybe not the books.), that becomes a bit of an issue.

I am thankful, however, that we are in a small place. This allows us to evaluate what is truly important. In the last week I have been reorganizing our kitchen cabinets. We're getting rid of as much of our plastic food storage as is possible, and hoping to purchase less in the way of canned goods. Most of our containers are glass, which is wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Both of us can be very we'll see how well this goes. But we have decided that we don't like the idea of plastics and food. Just...ew. (I really am becoming a crazy hippie, aren't I? Oh dear.) So the food cabinets are organized, and I even have a fair amount of items (all good, of course) to give to a local food pantry. Next will be the dishes, the cleaning supplies, and so on.

At the outset, this project seems overwhelming, and possibly expensive. But in the long run I know it will be very, very worth it. Lately I have been seeing many posts in the blogosphere about minimalism. I am not a minimalist, not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is Nate. We don't want to be rid of everything we own; two sentimental people, that's us. But the satisfaction that comes with keeping a truly clean and clutter-free house is certainly a step in the right direction.

Though this may sound odd to a few of you, I believe that God has laid this all on my heart. Very firmly, in fact. Think about it, though. As I work my way through the house, evaluating and paring down and cleaning, I am slowly replacing things with more time to spend together in the future. Eventually, I will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing good, wholesome food, less time cleaning, and certainly less time worrying about clutter when Nate gets home from work. We'll be able to spend more time on each other without constantly thinking about the housework. (At least in my case. I'm sure Nate doesn't think about it as much as I do, haha.)

I don't know about you, but that sounds like a fair trade. Besides, what else is there to do when it's barely above zero degrees outside?

1 comment:

  1. Glad to know I'm not the only one doing this. :) Last year I started sorting through all the stuff in my room and bathroom and getting rid of the "things" I have accumulated but don't really need. I'm kind of preparing for (hopefully) having an apartment of my own within the next few years. My first apartment will most likely be a small space so I want to reduce my "things" as much as possible and avoid leaving extra stuff behind at my parent's house when I eventually move out.