Monday, April 9, 2012

Minimalist Living and Some Soul Searching

Lately, for a number of reasons, I've been thinking in more of a minimalist living kinda way.  By that I mean going through a process of decluttering and riding ourselves of a lot of stuff we really do not need.  My wife and I are not pack rats or hoarders, but we did have about 20+ bins worth of stuff that we had stored in the garage and attic that we hadn't opened since 2007.  So we decided to purge everything we could.  We also combined about 10 years worth of old papers that needed to be shredded into 4 large bins and took that to a free shredding event last weekend. 

It felt really good to finally go through and make progress on that.  I love that feeling when everything is clean and clutter free.  The attic is now completely empty and the bins in the garage take up about 1/4 of the space they once did.  It gives me a certain peace of mind when everything is clean and organized and I feel that the more we can simplify, the better we will feel.

We were motivated to take action by a few things.  My mom recently decided to sell their home and will be moving to Atlanta to take care of her new grandson.  Extreme decluttering there.  Over 25 years worth of stuff to go through.  The progress that was made on decluttering was inspirational.  The transformation was quite impressive!  It has to be, she'll be going from a 2 story home with a basement to a spare bedroom in our sister's home. 

Additionally, an upcoming milestone started to hit home shortly after the calendar turned to 2012.  I realized that I will be 40 this June.  :-o  I still feel like I'm about 25 inside, some aches and pains tell me otherwise, but generally speaking I do NOT feel like I'm going to be 40.  For whatever reason though, this one caused me to do some soul searching. 

All too often you see either first hand or stories in the media of folks going way before their time.  It really is true, you never know what tomorrow will bring so you have to enjoy the here and now.  Like many others, I'm sure that I don't live in the now as much as I should. 

However, about a month ago I thought about my upcoming birthday and where I'm at in life compared to where I want to be.  The overwhelming majority was positive, with one main thing that stuck out.  My/our overall long term goal has always been to end up at the beach.  That is our favorite place to be, all the troubles of the world wash away when we're chilling out on a perfect day at the beach. 

I thought about it and since we're not getting any younger, I started to think about what we can do to make that happen now rather than later.  Why wait when that has always been our ultimate goal? 

So we've been researching options to sell our existing home and we started to research rentals close to the beach this past weekend.  We're finding that most available rentals are smaller condos, our existing home is about 1780 sq ft and the condos we've seen for rent so far are around 1200-1400 sq ft and some have storage space or a garage and others we're not so sure yet.  Some are also fully furnished and others are not. 

That brought me back to the minimalist idea.  It looks like we're most likely going to have to do some additional levels of purging and/or selling to make our plan work, but that sounds like fun to me.  We really are not attached to anything we own other than perhaps our TV, computers, phones and vehicles.  It would be liberating to have an estate sale and try and get rid of the majority of what we have and start fresh with a much smaller footprint. 

It will be interesting to see how things unfold, but we are now fully focused on the goal of relocating to the beach and we are optimistic things will all work out.  I'm hoping that by the time I turn 40 we will either have already realized this goal and I'll be typing an after birthday blog post from our new beachy location or will be very close to making that happen.  Wish us luck!

Have you ever had the desire to minimalize/simplify your life or the desire to start fresh?  Do you go through a regular purging/decluttering process on a routine basis?  I'd love to hear your stories or tips/advice that you might have for others that might be looking for help on getting started.  Thanks ahead of time for sharing any info!


Jen S said...

I am so sad your mom is moving and I won't see her getting her mail when I'm home :( Glad she's closer to you all though! Yay for de-cluttering!

Chris said...

Yeah, crazy it's all coming together and it's less than a month away. At least we're all in touch online.

Mama Ginny said...

De-cluttering sounds like fun and is very rewarding but you better be in shape before you start. While I have been in this house for 25 years I just discovered all the stuff i put in the crawling space from the first house. Who packs up the liquor from the basement bar and doesn't know it's there for 25 yrs???? I may have just discovered that I am a HOARDER :(

Chris said...

Haha...Yes, I think so. But luckily since a good portion is done, we won't see you on the TV show of the same name.

Mock family said...

always knew you were a hoarder mom :) we've been downsizing as well in preparation for our upcoming move.... I don't really have much but James has been having a good time.

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