Saying NO To Minimalism!

Saying No To Minimalism!

OK! Enough! I am not a minimalist…now step away from my books!

My struggle with minimalism should be obvious by now to readers of this blog. I have to admit I am seduced by the idea. I read minimalist blogs, and absorb accounts of how people have pared down their belongings and found freedom and happiness. 100 items seems to be the goal for true minimalists, and I have read slightly apologetic accounts from bloggers who do not consider themselves true minimalists because they have 204 items in their lives.

People, enough! Life is not about numbers, well, not unless you are a mathematician. Life is about living. And life is too short to worry about how many books I can have.

“But I cannot live”, I hear you cry, “I’m too burried in clutter!”

Me too. So where is that balance, that middle way between being a pack rat and minimalism? This is what I am looking for. And failing to find.

However, I am trying again.

We have started at the back door of the house and are working our way in. Each and every item will be checked over (I expect this will take years….) cleaned and put away, or passed on or binned.  And as for the books, if I like them and read them….I’m keeping them!

It is tremendously time consuming, and I have no idea how far we will get before we throw our hands up in horror. And I have a sneaky feeling that as we move on through the house other stuff will be creeping in through the back door behind us, and re-occupying the cleared areas.

We can but try.

Maybe the minimalists have the right of it after all. If you only have a hundred items you must know each and everyone personally, you must care for it and want it to be part of your life. You can tell immediately if an extra item or two have crept in unannounced.

But I do wonder how they do it. Do toilet brushes, cleaning cloths and washing up liquid count as personal possessions? What about beds, and tables and chairs? Or maybe they rent fully furnished homes, eat out and have cleaners.

Hmmm…minimalism begins to sound better and better!

But I have made my decision. I am not a minimalist, and I don’t see myself becoming one in the near furture. I am, however, going to deal with the clutter. I would like to cut the number of items in my house by 50%.

I just hope to finish before the next millennium!



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8 Responses to Saying NO To Minimalism!

  1. LynnCS says:

    Your posts are so endearing. I suppose, because they’re so relatable. I couldn’t be a real minimalist, but certainly am feeling better, clearing out unused items. Keep up the good work.

  2. riverkatie says:

    Hi Lynn, thank you for commenting, and for the compliment. How are you going about the clearing out?

    • LynnCS says:

      Thanks for the response. Well, I have taken about 8 shopping bags full of books to our library for their book sale. It’s the only way I could do it. Then I’ve redone every room to some extent, and just keep a bunch of bags open while I do it, and a trash can. Everything I touch gets evaluated and little by little, things are getting thinned out. I’m not really missing anything, and have so much more to do. How did I collect so much googah? I did the books before I read your post, or I might have weakened. It’s going to be an ongoing process…Aaaawk! If I clean out a drawer, I refuse (try not) to put anything back that I’m not sure I’ll use. Now, I found some good used furniture to finally try to make a space for visitors, or me…. I’ve always wanted a queen size bed somewhere, and guess this is it. That means cleaning up all this “new” stuff and getting rid of the old, and getting bedding…It’s so daunting! It means finding a cleaner that will take off the old cleaning products, smells, etc, I finally painted the room, a little room, and got some help to put in some base boards…etc. Now I’m taking out all the bins I’ve been storing there to clean the carpet. I’d like to do the whole house at once, but still have so much to do that I do a lot of moving things from one room to another. I can’t put things back into the kitchen till I have all the storage in place. I have a handyguy helping and we have run into aaaaall sorts of problems. therefore it’s two steps forward and 1 step back. I’m determined to have a nice homey place.

      What I wanted when I started this was to repair the porch and open up a hole in the kitchen wall so It wasn’t such a dungeon. The cupboards had to come out to level the floor and paint the cupboards. The whole house had to be fixed from carpenter ants, termites, powder post beetles, and patched and painted. Some siding had to be replaced. It’s been crazy.

      Suddenly, one day the water heater started leaking and I started crying. I thought, I’d never live through this. I had saved, but this was not what I had planned and I hadn’t even got started on my decluttering yet.

      Funny thing is that I’ve never been a collector or a shopper. One problem was that when I moved, years ago, I never pared down and many times I forget I have something and get another, like bathroom items. This house doesn’t have much storage, so it gets put in a bin and….well…looked at later. I also knew it was a fixer when I bought it. The price was right. I tell everyone to not by a potential or marry one. Think about possibly living with it/him the rest of your life….as is.

      Meantime, a couple days ago, I heard this horrible noise and went out to the laundry porch and the machine was completely destroyed. I’m trying to keep my chin up. After a few days and a trip to the laundromat, I found one and got a good deal on it. It’s definitely old and a basic model, but has been gone through, so hopefully has some life in it yet.

      All I want is a lovely and livable home and it’s been quite a journey, so far. I’m an old girl and pray to keep it simple while enjoying my life a little. There’s so much more, but I’ve gone on a bit here, so will try to practice some restraint. Humor helps, so if you’re laughing, it’s ok….so am I. ;-/

      I have much to learn, so I’ll keep reading your blog. I don’t run, but am on with people who do. I have posted your site to runners and about the simplifying our lives theme. I hope that’s ok. We are all trying to stay healthy and improve our lives on there and when I found you, I was thrilled. CU ltr, Lynn

  3. Chile says:

    I can relate to your struggle to find balance between minimalism and having enough self-sufficiency supplies to border on hoarding. Over the past couple of years, we parted with some of our self-sufficiency supplies to make more space. We have not missed them. Part of the struggle in letting go was mental: letting go of the idea of being more self-sufficient than we really have time to be. Sure, I’d like to do everything ourselves but we don’t honestly have the time or the energy so now we pick and choose. For instance, having a garden continues to be high priority but grinding wheat berries by hand (or pedal power) has been pushed aside by the efficiency of using the Vitamix to grind it much faster.

    Current reading about de-cluttering includes Peter Walsh’s books and “The Hoarder in You” by Zasio. Current viewing includes two British series (on YouTube): “How Clean is Your House?” and “Kim’s Rude Awakening.” Both are helping motivate me to let go of some clutter while also tackling much-needed deep cleaning projects.

    • riverkatie says:

      Thank you for the book and youtube ideas. I shall check these out.

      Oh yes, I am with you about how hard it is to let go of that dream of self sufficiency. If only we only needed the stuff to make it happen, but we need the time too…..

      On the stuff side of things…how do you find your Vitamix. Just this morning a woman I met was saying how wonderful her Vitamix was.


      • Chile says:

        I love my Vitamix. It was a financial investment but, to me, well worth it. This evening, I pureed fresh garden tomatoes from the freezer to make homemade spaghetti sauce. It makes the smoothest, silkiest hummus ever. The high power means it purees everything put into it so I no longer have to strain seeds out of sauces made with berries or peel and seed tomatoes before blending into sauce. It grinds wheat berries, oat groats, and popcorn into flours for baking. It makes great nut butters for the occasional treat and any variety of non-dairy milk you can think of. I use it almost every day for something.

        When I brought it home, I got rid of my old blender, my aging Cuisinart food processor, my citrus juicer, my soymilk maker, my grain mill, and the Yonanas machine. Six machines out, one machine in. It’s nice to have the extra cabinet space.

      • riverkatie says:

        Wow Chile, that is amazing! The one machine will do the job of six! And anything that can make nut butters is wonderful. I am constantly startled by how expensive almond butter is. I think I may have to sell a few things online, and start saving up!

  4. Chile says:

    What finally convinced me to get the Vitamix was watching the live demos at Costco. They have them periodically (once every couple of months or so) and I went several times. During slow periods, I talked with the person doing the demo at length. There are numerous blogs out there by Vitamix fans so you can read up and find out more about potential uses. (I just did a search on vegan Vitamix blogs and got tons of results. LOL)

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