It’s been a year of do-ing. We sold our big house and did a major remodel on a house less than half its size. We sold, donated or discarded most of our stuff, except for the contents of one container of things that we weren’t sure we wanted or would fit in our small home once we placed the furniture that we were definitely keeping. That container was a source of comfort, at first, but quickly became a source of stress. Deep down I knew we’d have to get rid of most of its contents, since these things wouldn’t fit in our new space. I scheduled a pick up date for the container so that we would have a deadline to have it emptied. We pared down yet another bunch of stuff, kept only what we wanted and would fit in our tiny loft storage, and met our deadline.
We are continuously organizing what we decided to keep and have been working on creative storage solutions for our living space. This has actually been interesting and fun! It’s also been an exercise in patience. It takes time to fully understand and identify a need, since it’s based on our family’s habits over time. Once the need is determined, I try to figure out an attractive, useful, space-saving system that works. For example, instead of a bulky desk in the corner of our dining room to store some office supplies, we are going with open boxes made of left over reclaimed lumber that hang on the wall. The office supplies will be tucked into attractive baskets that slide into the boxes.
The do-ing has finally slowed down and I’ve had more time to just, “be.” Minimalism can expose emotions we didn’t know we had or new feelings can arise from living in a smaller space with less stuff.
I couldn’t even identify or put into words what I was feeling at first, I just felt out of sorts and cranky. I finally realized that I needed some down time after work and quiet time, in general, to think and process what I was thinking and feeling. In our bigger home, time to myself was automatic, given the amount of space we had. Oftentimes, I would be in our bedroom reading and my husband would be two floors down watching television. Or one of us would be starting dinner while the other one would be sitting on the porch. We always looked forward to a family dinner together and spending the rest of the evening in the same space.
With less physical boundaries creating separate space for alone time, I’ve had to communicate my needs and have had to learn how to be alone while sharing the same space. As I write this post, my daughter is watching football and my husband is lighting a fire after working outside for a few hours. We are all in the same space, doing our own thing. It works!
What’s under all of our stuff? I guess it depends on what we make of it. I decided to plant grass seed in the bare spot left from where the storage container sat in our front yard.