Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
This week, we have a very interesting story from Bug Girl. This is one of the most compelling (and creepy crawly) reasons I’ve heard for becoming a minimalist! Great inspiration to clean out those nooks and crannies…
Bug Girl writes:
My minimalist journey unfortunately started with a pest problem two years ago. (Black Carpet Beetles, if you dare to Google it.) Little creepy crawly bugs that LOVE to feed on dust and cat hair and clothing were everywhere in my house. And I mean everywhere! Under the fridge and stove, in my clothes drawers, under the couch cushions – anywhere a dust bunny would reside, there they were. I kept the place relatively organized, and not gross and dirty by any means, but I didn’t do the maintenance to move things around to vacuum/sweep under them, because there’s simply too much.
The first line of defense is to wash all of your clothes in hot water, put them in giant plastic bags, and vacuum everything. That didn’t work because they were under the carpet and behind the baseboards. So last summer, I had to rip up the carpet in the three bedrooms upstairs and put in laminate flooring. Everything I owned up there had to be shifted around to do the floors.
The problem has greatly improved upstairs and on the main floor. I still have issues in the basement, which is also carpeted. As I’m shuffling everything around, I’m realizing more and more that if I didn’t own so much stuff, this whole process would be MUCH easier. If the basement were empty, the carpet could have come up 2 years ago, when the problem was first discovered.
I’m doing really well with purging, but still have a long way to go. When I came across my favorite childhood doll, she had bugs in her hair and it was really easy to put her in the dumpster. But there’s a lot of other stuff that isn’t infested, and I don’t use, so I’m giving away a lot of that. I take pictures, and put them on facebook for my friends. Then whatever they don’t want I Freecycle, and after that, I’ll donate what’s left to charity. It feels really good to purge, but as much as I’ve purged, I still have a house full of stuff! It took me 32 years to accumulate it; I can’t expect to get rid of it all overnight. I passed by the book section in Meijer the other day and I shuddered, because I’ve sorted, and paperbackswapped, and donated so many books lately. (Although I’ll probably end up donating all of my paperbackswap credits to elementary schools, because I don’t ever want to own another book – I love the using the library and my new kindle.)
I am happy to report that I spent this past weekend emptying the basement and I can call someone this week to rip up the carpet! And there’s a HUGE give-away pile!