The Peaceful Minimalist I am Not

The look on their faces when they saw their art projects in the recycling bin outside was so sad. Little paper angels looking up, tattered and worn, and the look of rejection on my children’s faces will stay with me forever.

The article promised that if I threw out and gave away most everything, I would join the ranks of the happy minimalist. Peace on earth would descend upon me and all would be right with my world. So out went yearbooks, newspaper clippings with mentions of myself, my cheerleading outfit, tons and tons of books, and my children’s art projects, amongst many other things.

I very nearly always regret the things I give away. Why did I give away all of my soap making and wine making things? I am now out of homemade soap and wine. Yes, yes, I know, I could just go buy soap and wine (for cheaper), and I will. It’s loads easier and I don’t have time to do all that anyway! Yes, yes, my babies’ art projects would have disintegrated by now and I doubt they even remember, but they were, for the moment, a piece of my children that I wish I still had. I have piles and crates of photographs that will, let’s face it, never be sorted and organized and will eventually be thrown out in a few generations or sooner because no one will know who the people are. Material things do not last. I know, I know.

But the too-big apron that my grandmother made me would be lovely to hold about now. And all the things I have given away I could probably really use right now (whatever they were). I wouldn’t say I am a hoarder by any means, but a pack rat wouldn’t be too far fetched. It would be difficult for one to walk a straight line through the garage. What if (the key words that keep me trapped) I need all those oil lamps? And half a million canning jars? What if I need those aprons…all fifty of them? Oh my, I could never part with my bicycle with the cute basket. One day I shall ride it! As soon as I move back to the city. Not sure when that will be. I am tired of my dishes, but I always wanted Fiesta ware and now I have them. I might really miss the windmill dishes that I inherited from my great-aunt Donna.

Somehow, material things seem to capture the spirit of the person that had them and make it difficult to part with . Somehow a Depression-era mentality overtakes me and I think I should probably have every implement for when the grid goes down handy and in the way. And what if my decorating style changes again? I shall need all those tchotchkes. Or do I?

How does one release? Let it go! How do we choose what we will need or want or what brings us joy verses what we feel we can’t let go of? I have even gone back to the thrift store to find things I have given them. It’s pathetic, I tell you! This year I must clear out what does not serve us, what we don’t need presently, what doesn’t represent our current time in life, what is blocking all closets and the path through the garage! And I shall start today! Or tomorrow. Yes, very likely tomorrow.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rod Jensen says:

    LOL… For me tomorrow NEVER comes. I just can’t seem to reduce the clutter, especially in my studio. I (like most crafters) just keep telling myself. I will most certainly need that (whatever it is) the day after i get rid of it. I guess my time will come when I can no longer get into the studio. Love you and KEEP CRAFTING Rod

    1. Katie Lynn says:

      You keep crafting too! Love you!

  2. I’m from a family of “this might be useful, better keep it just in case” hoarders and my husband is from a family of impulse purchasers – it’s a bad combination! I especially struggle to part with sentimental items (had a whole box of cards from when we moved in together, got engaged, married and our daughters’ births but never looked at them) but always feel better once I’ve had a big clear out, I find clutter distracting and overwhelming. Long way from being able to call myself a minimalist though. Good luck with your clear out. 😊

    1. Katie Lynn says:

      Sounds like I could be in your family! Clutter makes me crazy, but my husband really hates it, so I will do better this year!

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