I Am Becoming a Minimalist!

Have you ever seen the pictures of King Tut’s tomb as it looked the day that Howard Carter first broke through the wall, revealing those objects to the light of day for the first time in thousands of years? Well then, you may see a certain resemblance in these pictures. We too have our precious objects all piled up together. But, although you may not think that it looks as if anything has been done except for dumping, but believe you me (as my dad used to say), there’s been a ton of work done (mostly by Jim) to get this far. And now I’m realizing that I can get rid of a ton. (Might have been nice if I’d realized this before the move, but oh well.)

table on its side, desk piled with files

Rack of clothing and piled up stuff half wrapped furniture with piles of clothes

After I spent well over an hour packing up my beautiful Noritake china, saying that I just couldn’t bear to give it up, guess what? I’m giving it up. After taking down the beautiful but heavy and bulky drapes and valences in our bedroom and packing them all up, guess what? I’m giving them up. I’m going to clear out lots of stuff in the corner china cabinet, too (but not the gift plates) and use the retrieved space for stuff I do use. I’m getting rid of even more clothes. We’ve gone from almost 3,700 square feet to about 900, and I’m beginning to feel an incredible lightness of being.

Along with getting rid of stuff is the inevitable getting new stuff. I’ve spent a ton of time (I seem to be using the word “ton” a lot) researching patio door blinds, casual-but-elegant dinnerware, and box valances. (Not that I mind doing that, at all—and now I have the perfect excuse.) Reading home improvement/decorating/DIY blogs is a good change from my obsessive perusal of political articles. I’ve mentioned Young House Love before, and this morning I went on their site and discovered that they now have a podcast. How fun! And how recursive is that going to be—listening to home improvement podcast episodes as I work on home improvement!

I do want to document what we do as we make the lower level of Jan & Lowell’s house our home. So I’m going to try to have Mondays be documentation day. We’ve been here for a week as of this evening.One big item that’s no longer down here is Jan’s treadmill. Jim kept saying that it could be made to fit, and I kept saying that there was no way. Plus, Jan wasn’t going to want to come down into our living space to use it as we were getting ready for bed. (She goes to bed much later than we do.) Room had to be made for it upstairs, and Jim managed to do so. A big item off the checklist. Just imagine these pictures with a big treadmill sitting in the middle of everything. We’re kind of stymied on getting the desks placed against the back wall, as the outlet boxes are too high on the wall to allow them to be placed all the way back. Also, the second desk weighs about one ton (there’s that word again!), but we don’t want to hire people just for that one piece. We’ll see. As I keep saying, “Jim will figure it out!”

I have such a strong picture in my mind of how this is all going to look that I’m very motivated. It’s going to be so beautiful that the current mess doesn’t discourage me. There’s a long way to go, with the storage shed being stuffed to the gills and perhaps a small dumpster to be rented. Craigslist will be our friend for getting rid of some things. The thrift store warehouses will gain. (Sometimes it’s better to just throw discards away, though, as many thrift stores are severely over-donated. We assuage our guilt over having bought stuff we don’t need by giving the stuff to another place that doesn’t need it.) But the guy at ARC was very pleased to get the shoplights that I’ve have had for well over a decade to use for seed-starting. That’s no longer a part of my life. All that mess and dirt and, for the most part, failure. Sorry, seed companies! I do have to figure out how to grow my beloved four o’clocks, but I’ll just have to live without them for this year.

A god nudge for my Obliger tendency will be for next week’s pictures to show progress. Today a friend/handyman is coming to help Jim with the kitchen ceiling, and once that’s installed then we can put in the cabinets. I’ll hope to be able to show that next week. I keep saying that we are moving forward, even if it’s one small step per day. How about you? Are you moving forward even a little on a huge task? Then that’s progress!

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2 thoughts on “I Am Becoming a Minimalist!

  1. Hi Debi, I am an obliger also. Thanks for the glimpse of your life through these busy days of moving. Sue

  2. Debi, Thanks for your delightful post. I am right there rooting for you. Share your desire to be a minimalist-maybe your next profession will be to help others have less. I am especially interested on how to keep a log of my pantry items. Drew does the major shopping for us. Remember I do not drive that much. We buy our groceries mostly at Buckley AFB Commissary. It such a long drive and even being a passenger makes me tired visually. So I stay home. I also have three sizes of clothes and do not want to part with smaller sizes. Well, enough for my gabbing . I love you and praying for you. Sue

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