I always tell Seiuli that I feel like we have way to much stuff. We have less than a lot of people because I throw things out on a regular basis, but we still have a lot more than we need. It's bothered me for a long time. But this past summer after Sei and I went to Hawaii, I was really changed. I want to live there. I do. The idea of selling everything we own to move to a small, humble home sounds amazing to me. And ever since the summer whenever I think "Oh I wanna buy that..." I have stopped myself and thought "Would I buy that if I was living in Hawaii?" It sounds so silly, but it works for me. I'm not sure why, but my eyes were really opened to needs vs. wants.
I just read the book "Simplify" by Joshua Becker. He's the author of the blog Becoming Minimalist. I've been reading through his blog and thinking "Yes! Yes!! Exactly!!" I guess in some aspects I'm already a minimalist to some extent. I only own 2 pairs of jeans... Ok, actually I only have 2 pair that fit, but whatever. I don't see the need in a lot of home decor. Most of our "decor" is pics of our family framed- because our family is what's important to me. Seiuli and I have 4 towels in our bathroom- the kids have 10 because there's 5 of them. Stuff like that. But man, we have way too much clothes and we just have random things throughout the house that I know we don't need, but I've been too lazy to get rid of... Up until last week.
Last week as I started putting away the Christmas decorations- which I really don't have a lot of anyway because it makes me feel like everything is cluttered- I also threw out some ornaments and decorations that I don't ever put up. I donated some and threw the rest in the trash. Then I moved to my bathroom. Holy ton of junk! I cleaned out the linen closet and under the sink. It filled up a trashbag. I cleaned out a ton of my clothes and told the kids to all bring me at least 10 things they don't ever wear. Wow- my kids really have too much clothing. We now have a couch covered with clothes that I will donate this week. We also threw out 4 BIG trashbags of junk and a huge box as well. But even with all that I look around and I'm like, "Did we throw anything out?!" It's crazy!!!
So my goal throughout this year-- and my life-- is to really embrace minimalism. We aren't going to become a no-car family or anything like that, but we are getting rid of cable. Netflix is fine and a lot cheaper. I'm waiting 30 days before making any big purchase to make sure we really NEED it. I've even hung on to the Christmas money my parents gave me because I want to make sure I spend it on something I really need or something to improve our home. I decided to spend a little of it on material to recover my 8 kitchen table chairs. I'm loving them. And it cost a lot less to recover them ($35) than for new chairs.
I'm excited to finally start practicing what I've thought I should be doing all along. I'm always in awe when I watch movies from the pioneer days, etc... and the little girl is happy with her one cloth doll and the boys played with a stick and ball. Simple is better. Period. We don't NEED all this stuff. We can't take it with us anyway. It's like Tyler Durden (Fight Club) said, "The things you own end up owning you." I don't want debt or things to make it impossible for me to live my dreams. So, I'm fixing that now. I'm spending less. I'm saving and giving more. I'm embracing simplicity and what's really important.