Every little thing, you think that you need

About three years ago I read a book called ‘the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo.  It was around the time Grace was about 6 months old and I had really started to feel like we had a lot of stuff in our lives and it was getting out of control or I felt like I had no control.  Having a new baby definitely will increase the amount of stuff you have, sometimes whether you want it or not.  And so I began my KonMari journey.  I pulled everything out of my wardrobe, gathered all my clothes in massive piles from all over the house, pared them back to only those that sparked joy, donated a tonne and then neatly folded them all and put them away.  Then I systematically went around the house and did other rooms.  Bathroom, kitchen, paperwork and guess what,  we still have a tonne of stuff.  Stuff that I constantly had to pick up and put away, organise, find a home for and more stuff was coming in.

Last year I watched a couple of documentaries about minimalism and the environmental impact our wastefulness is having.  (If you haven’t had a chance yet, please watch Minimalism, The True Cost and the War on Waste). It made me realise that it is every little purchase, every gift, every impulse, every advertisement that brings all this stuff into our lives and often, not for the better.

Fast forward to right now.  We are relocating to another country.  We don’t want all this stuff to follow us so we are trying to get rid of it.  We’ve had a garage sale, we are posting things on Facebook Marketplace (man, I have a love-hate relationship with that place), we are donating, we are throwing some things out, we are shipping some things and we are taking some things with us when we fly.

Dealing with all this stuff is taking so much effort and decision making.  I want to get a good price because I paid good money for an item but then I can’t use it where I am going so what is the value in holding out for that good price?  I really wish we just didn’t have it all.  Eliot has voiced his plan that what ever is left, he is going to push out into the street and set on fire a few times.  I’m not so keen on that idea, it may upset the neighbours but it has felt appealing when I look around at everything that still remains.

What it has made me realise, is that when we set up our new home in Colorado, I want to live life with less.  Much, much less.  I want to consider things before bringing them into our lives and what kind of value they will bring.  I want to spend more time with the people I love and less time organising our things.  I’ve got a great opportunity to start over.  Not everyone is going to have this particular kind of opportunity but that doesn’t mean that we can’t all be a little more mindful about what we bring into our lives.  So whether you choose to ‘KonMari’ your home or do a Packing Party or even just stop and consider whether you really need that sale item, just remember, in the words of the Minimalists, “Love people. Use things. The opposite never works”.

The title of this post comes from a song by Irish singer-songwriter Peter Doranthe, “Every Little Thing”.  It is the opening theme song to the Minimalist podcast.  It makes me stop and think every time I hear it.  

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