Monthly Archives: April 2013

Simplifying is a journey that never ends


When my mother died, I inherited not only her own household, but that of my grandmother and great-grandmother because each time someone died, her daughter was too emotionally caught up to get rid of the stuff. My mother and I used to talk about what to do with all the stuff and planned to someday open an antiques booth at an antiques mall.

So now I have opened the booth, finally, by myself. I know she would have approved. I like to think that had she lived, she would have eventually embraced my new philosophy of minimalism. I have donated about a dozen truckloads (I’ve lost count exactly) and sold hundreds of items on Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon. I thrown away more items than I’ve donated or sold put together.

Bottom line: I don’t want to put my boys through what my sister and I went through. It gets easier to purge after time, but after five years, there is still so much more that needs to go. I am glad, however, that the legacy I’m leaving to my own children is that it’s just stuff. They rarely hold on to items for sentimental value and encourage me to keep getting rid of it and don’t bring it home in the first place.

I envy those minimalism/simplicity bloggers who purged their entire households within weeks so they could sail around the world/travel the country in an RV with their kids/move into a 100-square foot house. How did they do it so quickly, short of pulling a dumpster up to their house and start tossing everything in sight? For us, it’s been a years-long process stretching behind us, and a continual journey into the foreseeable future, as well as a complete change in our worldview and thinking process. We’ve also completely overhauled our values. These complete changes in thinking are the only way to prevent us from moving backward and acquiring again.

Perhaps I am complicating the process of simplifying. Maybe the simplest thing would be to not worry so much about getting money for what I have, and just get rid of it all at one time. The freedom of doing that just might be worth it.