Yesterday, I started reflecting on where the Minimal Challenge has brought me over the last few months–since it all began.
I’ve pointed out (several times) how good it feels to shed the “stuff,” and how my life has changed in intangible ways since disposing of the tangible items. But, I don’t spend very much time focusing on the actual items I’ve been downsizing this year.
The truth is … I can no longer recall many of the items that I parted ways with this year. That is because most of them were hiding in the depths of my cupboards and closets and really had no impact on my daily life … except to take up space and require more of my time and energy when I had to clean them or move them. But today, I can honestly say that I have yet to miss a single item that I minimized.
I did have an experience recently where I needed a few more professional outfits than I had in my closet. Lucky for me, when I downsized my closet, I passed a lot of my articles of clothing on to relatives. And, although part of my minimizing goals included me not being able to fit in those articles of clothing anymore. Well … let’s just say … I met other goals instead. So, I was able to borrow back a couple of outfits. But still, I would say that I could have gotten by on the bare essentials if push had really come to shove. I thought about heading to the mall one day, but the truth is … I don’t want any more clothes in this size. I’d rather revamp my closet with quality items as a reward for reaching those goals … next year.
Meanwhile, there are a few items that I considered tossing but decided to keep … with the caveat that I actually had to use them if they stayed. One is the awesome foot massager I bought my husband for Christmas last year. Since it was hiding in a closet, I reasoned it could move on. But, since it wasn’t really mine to minimize, I was over-ruled. I still made a pact with myself to use it. And so I do. As we speak. When I sit and blog, I get this ridiculous foot and calf massage … all the way up to my knees. You should really try it. You might blog every day too.
Another is the holiday decorations. I made a conscious decision to not minimize them. But I felt a little like a hypocrite for not even trying. But, I have to tell you … I really love the festivity in my house this time of year. And my kids love the traditions we have of hanging the garland and preparing for the holidays. My son was just sharing some of his memories with us the other day … in his five little years, he has distinct memories of the day we have hung the garland for each of the past few years. Something so insignificant to us has had a significant impact on some of his earliest memories. I like that.
And finally, the furniture. If I were a true minimalist, I might be living in a studio apartment in the city right now where I could walk everywhere I needed to go … or at least enjoy mass transit. And, I might question whether I actually needed furniture, or just a futon on the floor and a stack of books as a table. But, that is not my life. I live in the country. Where vehicles are necessary … though much more practical now than they once were. And where my body thanks me for having couches to sit on. Although, I do have to tell you … we gave away a number of small furniture items that were not absolutely necessary and did not add value to our home.
There are still a number of items rattling around our house that I could live without. And, after the holidays, I plan to host another massive purge that I will probably call a “New Year’s Resolution” or something equally creative. But for now, I am content to know that I am making progress … even if I’ve kept a few non-essential “shared items”.