January 22, 2014

Living Simply: Thoughts on Stuff

We've been cleaning out my mother-in-law's house. She passed away in October and we're getting the house ready to sell. I can officially say that I am weary of stuff. In the past few years I've watched my parents clean out my grandparent's house and all the work that went into that. After that, my parents began getting rid of lots of things to reduce their load. They didn't want us going through what they'd had to do for my grandparents.

I'm struck wondering why we buy so much stuff, hang onto it, clean on and around it, only to give it all away in the end or have someone go through it (an emotionally taxing experience, I might add).

I read somewhere that when Mother Theresa died she had one box of things. ONE. BOX.

I think I'm beginning to understand that a bit. I'm no where near living with only a box full of stuff, but I'd like to be closer than I am now. We've been taking clutter out of our house by the bag fulls to make way for things coming over from my MIL's house. But even the things we're bringing over, I'm being super picky about. I am finally getting the idea that memories are not things, things are not memories. I have photos, I have moments in my mind I will never forget. I'm not against having a few treasures, but I'm feeling less and less of a pull to hang on to things.

It's just stuff.

I've been reading a lot on minimalism. It's comforting to see people living so simply, unafraid of having little. It seems easier to maintain. I feel myself slowly leaning into it. Simply reducing my wardrobe has helped so much. It's less mind stressing to get ready in the morning with so few options in my closet.

I read Kelly Oribine's minimalist manifesto, and felt she put so beautifully the joy of living minimalist. I want to be there. It's going to take awhile to reduce our stuff to where I want it to be, but I'm ready to take the plunge.

I'm ready to trade my stuff for living simply.

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