We let go of tools and building materials this weekend. How wonderful that the Habitat for Humanity ReStore takes such things. They took old shelving, working power tools, and unopened packages of screws. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that they do NOT take everything. For example, somehow we came up with about TWENTY unused extension cords. What?! Why??? I have no idea, none. Apparently, we just kept buying more because we did not know where we had squirreled away the others. I am truly horrified. So down to the ReStore only to find out they do not take extension cords anymore, because people bring in too many of them and they don’t sell. In other words, I am not the only one. They also would not take any used hand tools, or extension poles (yep, seven of them— I could cry). All I can say is, the next time you think you need an extension cord, try the closest ReStore. Onward!
I’ve read three books that inspired me to minimize. This is something I strive to do, not something that comes to me naturally. The first one I encountered, maybe five years ago. I read Marie Kondo’s book on the Kindle app. My mother, who is naturally organized and a ruthless minimizer, thought everything in the book was rather obvious. I, however, did not inherit those genes from her, to me it was all fresh and new. I liked the concept of sparking joy, it helped me part with many clothes. I learned afterward that clothes for doing chores such as painting do not spark any joy with me… ever. Because of this I ended up converting a couple of “spark joy” clothing items into painting/yard work clothes. At that point they no longer sparked joy— harrumph! There were a few lasting changes, that I adopted after reading her delightful little book. It gave me a jumping off point. It continues to help me keep clothing drawers neat, as I have never reverted to my old way of folding. Hint: that after reading the book, I looked up a YouTube video of Marie Kondo folding clothes to finally understand it. I never could picture her technique based on the written word alone. Lastly, I am much more careful about purchases I make in the first place. If it’s not sparking joy, it is NOT coming home with Mama! I will keep you in suspense for the second book. I mean, how much info can you absorb in one sitting anyway?
Next trip to the Goodwill donation center, here we come. I am so, so excited!! I’ve no idea how we fit so many things in this little house. I have not a clue how I’ve been donating and selling things for 8+ years pretty continuously and there’s still too much. We’ve been such good little American consumers I guess. As we get ready for selling our home of the last three years, the plan is to move into a 27 foot RV for a while. More stuff has got to go, cause there’s just so many places it can go. At this point giving the things away fills me with joy. I usually photograph it before it goes, and I enjoy seeing the pictures of the old stuff once in a while. I have never regretted giving any of it away. Of course this trip is especially easy, since most of it was not even mine in the first place! I used to ask, “but what if I need it again and it’s gone?” Honestly, that has happened a couple times. It’s okay. I buy it again and choose more carefully the second time around. I go for something that is smaller or easier on the eyes, whenever possible. Do not beat yourself up if you’ve given up something that you end up needing again. Stuff comes, stuff goes. If you can’t afford it again right away, get inventive… there’s always a way.
Previously, I mentioned the rather stubborn decision we made to cling to our king size bed for nearly three years in our 10’x7’ “master” bedroom. We don’t really live with regret about that choice. I mean, those big kings offer some serious comfort. It seemed worth it to climb in from the end. Now that we’ve caved and downsized to a queen bed, we received when our lovely daughter downsized herself, we see some definite advantages. We have walking paths… on both sides of the bed! There’s even a bit of floor space peaking through. A great little second hand furniture store recently revealed itself and we downsized the furniture in our living room too. It seriously makes a big difference to the feel of the house. Having visual space just feels more peaceful.
It all started with a key, of sorts. After dumping our oh-so-many things into our new tiny house, and running away to Europe for a bit. We knew we wanted our house to become pretty… but where to begin? I mean it was essentially a big storage unit with a bathroom.
Then, it happened one night… in Spain. We asked to borrow a bottle opener from a friend, and it was just beautiful. It was fate… kismet… destiny. It sparked inspiration. We agreed to begin a search in earnest upon our return.
Once home we wedged ourselves and our oh-so-many belongings into our new home, and kept our eyes open for the new opener on our travels. There was a burning desire to replace our plastic and chrome (?) grocery store model. Eureka! It revealed itself in Newport, RI. That’s how our new bottle opener became the key to transitioning our home into a tiny sanctuary.