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I have been working on becoming a minimalist for some time now. It has been difficult because basically, I like “stuff”. I hate clutter and I love space,so what is a girl to do?  So, my solution is to only keep what is necessary and what I truly love.  No matter how much I like the “stuff”, when it’s constantly in your way, it’s annoying.

Recently, I have been remodeling my home.  This included having all of my hardwood floors refinished.  Well, anyone knows that means cleaning out the entire house of all items!!  If anything would make me a minimalist it’s that.  Having to move something out, store it, and move it back in really makes one wonder if an item is worth it.

Luckily for me, I have a small home and am always cautious about how much I allow to come in.  For me, one item can mean stepping over something, there isn’t much closet space in a 1953 home.  My home in 1953 was the average size home for a family of 4, now I cherish each inch of space for just one person.  That’s how much more “stuff” we all have compared to 60 years ago.

Most were amazed that I could fit a household in a one car garage.  I did have a utility room for my appliances and my bathroom was used to store lamps.  Other than that, I got it all in the garage.  Luckily, I do not use my garage for any extra storage, so it was pretty empty.

As I kept my items in the garage and then having to work around them a few times, some items were taken away.  Restore loved me that week!  They got, a set of gas logs, a firescreen, books, painting supplies, dishes, some small furniture, a microwave, and who knows what else.  I was on a roll.  Some items I realized I didn’t need since I never missed them while in the garage.  My toaster for instance,  I always thought I had to have one, they are a kitchen staple, then I realized that as few times as I toast anything, my oven worked fine.  I learned to multiuse things instead of having separate appliances.

It was easy being a minimalist as a child because I didn’t have any money and my parents did not indulge me with “stuff”.  I can remember having one winter coat, two pair of shoes, one doll, etc.  I must have survived because here I am.  I do remember one episode where my very indulged cousin called me on Christmas morning to see what I had “gotten”.  I told her my list of gifts, which only included 2 items and then she replied, “Is that all”?.  I had been pretty happy with my two items until she said that.  Then I felt deprived as she began to tell me her long list of gifts.  Did I play with my two items — yes.  Did she play with her bountiful amount of gifts – most likely not.  So why did it matter if she got 20 or 2 gifts, she probably only used 2.

Most of us can do with way less than we have, it’s hard to adjust to a minimal lifestyle when we are flooded with a constant flow of media telling us we need to indulge and how good it feels.

I have way less than I did before remodeling.  My closet had all of the racks piled with stuff, when I painted that closet I decided to take them down. When I replaced the racks, I went back with the original 1953 galvanized bar for hanging items and a flat board for the shelf.  Everything fits just fine.  I can see everything and it look so neat and organized.  I feel so much better than having racks full of clutter.

I’ve concluded that if an item is not needed or loved, then I will let it go.

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