Minimalism – The Reasoning

We moved from California to Arizona in 2005 and our belongings filled  a moving vanliner that typically can move three families’ worth of goods.  The movers told us that homeschoolers always have too many books, but the massive amount of stuff we had was crazy.  Too late to save the $23k we spent on that move (no joke, and it was only 700 miles!) I started decluttering and purging.  We were renting a house with a three car garage and more than once, I filled it up and had a hauler come empty it out.  We’ve moved four more times since then and I got better and better at purging.   We also downsized from 3500 sq ft to 2700 to 2000 and finally back up to 2900.  When we purchased the smaller home in 2009, we purged even more–we sold most of our furniture as well and replaced it with fewer pieces with clean lines.  I LOVE having my bedroom only contain a bed, dresser, small bookshelf and small tv stand.  We used to have 9 pieces, not counting the TV!

As great as we did striving for minimalism, we fell off the wagon big-time from 2009 forward.  We did however get our act together financially and paid off two cars (selling a third to rid ourselves of the payment as well) plus over $30k in consumer debt.  We were able to really start saving in 2011 but I noticed that we had slipped back into a consumeristic mindset and that we not only had accumulated way too much stuff, we were overspending monthly, largely due to disorganization.

I realized recently that as far as being minimalist goes, we are right back where we’d started (practically) in that managing our stuff and clutter has taken over my life again!  I don’t feel like I have the time or freedom to do the things I love to do–and “stuff” management is always looming overhead when I do try to enjoy myself.  Last week when I cleaned up the toys in my youngests’ room, it took me 4 hours and I never finished.  Two days later, it was right back where it started.  That day was the day I decided that something had to change. I’m in the process of overhauling our diet and health so why not include the house and our damned STUFF in the process?

I had originally planned on Freecycling everything I purged but I’ve decided to have a garage sale instead because we really could use the $$ come October.  I’m planning my sale for late-September, which gives me 6 weeks to organize everything and get it into boxes in the garage (neatly!).  I plan to price items as I box them up, so that on sale day, all I have to do is set everything out.  The money earned will go in our vacation fund–we’re going to Disneyland with fmaily in October and staying in a family timeshare for free, but still have to purchase our own tickets and meals (which won’t be cheap!).




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