While reading about simple IKEA bookshelves on the family design site, Oh Dee Doh, I discovered a link to Becoming Minimalist. The blog details the life of a Vermont family of four and their quest to live more simply. Dad Joshua Becker writes quick, readable posts about his family’s goals and successes. After reading a few entries, I was ready to become a minimalist myself.
Why? After the holidays, new toys, knickknacks and assorted sundries make our modest, 3-bedroom cape feel overloaded. Our house is without a doubt, a minimalist’s worst nightmare. My intentions are good however. Prior to Christmas, I thought I’d make room by taking 3 loads of toys and books to our local kids’ consignment shop. The great unloading was freeing. We gained some shelf space and I felt like Martha Stewart on her best day.
But now I am back to square one, shelves covered in books and magazines, toys on the floor, craft supplies scattered on the kitchen counter. Madness! So you can imagine the relief I felt when I came across Becoming Minimalist. Becker recommends starting off small—clearing out a desk drawer, bookshelf or medicine cabinet—before managing big, overwhelming projects like the toy room, garage and basement. By doing so, he says, a person can enjoy small victories each time. I like the sound of that.
Today, I went through the kids’ giant box of dress-up clothes and put aside extra hats, outgrown ballerina outfits, bandanas, pirate swords and wands. I collected the bounty in a kitchen bag, posted the items on our town’s Trading Post and within the hour, the dress-ups were sold. Victory number one! The whole project—cleaning and posting the items—took about 15 minutes. I feel more organized already.
Can our family become true minimalists? We’ll see. I’m not sure we can accomplish object free shelves and floors, as described on this minimalist design guide, but I love the idea of pairing down and living simply. I’m hoping this small start will lead to some peace of mind.