Reader Jessica asks: "I remember a while back on your blog, you mentioned that you are a minimalist and have only what you need (in terms of clothes and such). Can you tell me how you arrived at that? I'd like to get our family to become more simple in terms of our possessions...."
I get this question often both from blog readers and real-life friends, so I thought I'd share some brief thoughts here:
First, my husband and I are minimalists naturally. We both tend to get frustrated at extra stuff lying around. For my part I become easily overwhelmed by lots of things. Unfortunately this extends even to good things like books and homeschooling materials. The number of songs on my iPod can be a source of stress. [I recently moved my toaster to the cabinet below in order to have more "visual peace" (which for me equates to mental peace) in the kitchen. There was plenty of countertop space before, but I needed visually to see less stuff there.] Honestly I wish I were more relaxed. Somewhere in the middle of excess and minimalism is ideal, and we all have to strive toward that end from whichever direction we are starting.
If you don't have natural tendencies toward having less you can adopt some solid household principles. Start with one or two....say, give away clothing you haven't worn in more than a year, or keep only your children's very best artwork...etc. Try to make concrete principles so you know exactly when you need to give or throw something away. You can even adopt the general principle that if a particular object is in question for keeping or giving....always give.
Years ago I heard someone say, "If we have what we don't need, we're taking away from someone who does." I love this thought. Though I think it can be taken too far, it's a principle that comes to the forefront of my mind whenever deciding whether to keep a particular item or not. It must be a good principle, because inevitably I end up giving the item in question away and am always happy I did.
I know there's a lot more I could cover...Christmas (for that I send you to this beautiful post), birthdays, craft supplies....but hopefully this can give you a start.
On a related note, for those of you who sew or quilt please stay tuned on Monday. Let's just say the thought of having more fabric than I need has been lingering.... :)