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.
Today, Caitlin shares her story with us. A post-divorce move into a flat of her own inspired her to do some major decluttering; read more about her experience on her blog.
I want to preface this by saying that I discovered the Miss Minimalist blog about two weeks ago and have purged about half my stuff (and read the entire archive) since then. Plus, I moved into my first flat all on my own.
I started a blog, bornagainminimalist.com, that I’ve been using to chronicle my “adventure to less,” as I call it. From clothes to craft supplies to kitchen wares to household items, I am cutting the excess and learning to live with just enough. I’m not finished yet but I have made a great start!
My mother has a ton of stuff in her house. And, great mother she is, she has a lot of her kids’ stuff in her house. My brother moved to Miami, FL a year ago, taking only what he could fit in his car and leaving the rest behind in mom-storage. My sister is a college junior and has most of her stuff in mom-storage as well. I moved in with my mom while I was getting divorced and looking for a job in January and lived with her for six months – with most of my stuff in her basement with everyone else’s stuff! On top of three kids’ worth of stuff, there’s her stuff and my step-dad’s stuff (plus his garage, FULL OF STUFF).
After moving everything, one box at a time, by myself, out of my ex-husband’s apartment, and into my mom’s basement, something clicked when I started reading this blog and I just couldn’t bear the thought of trying to get all my stuff up a flight of stairs, one box at a time, by myself. No way! It had to go. I didn’t even need most of it, I just accumulated it and it never left.
I started with my clothes, books, and crafting supplies, and once I started I found it was really easy to get rid of things. It was liberating. It was empowering. I didn’t need this stuff, and it wasn’t making me happy, and I had no reason to burden myself with it up a flight of stairs and try to make it fit in my 500-square foot flat with two closets. Nope.
Other things were more difficult to get rid of… especially gifts from people, relics from my childhood, and anything my mother insisted I “needed.” (I refused to take an iron and ironing board I had used only three times in the past six years – mom was not pleased!) It was hard to throw away birthday cards I found from when I was eight, including a couple of cards from my now-deceased grandmother, but I have amazing memories of her and I don’t need a card to remember how great she was and how much she loved us all.
Non-attachment is something I am striving for. My ultimate goal is to have everything I own fit in my car. It took me four car trips and one truck trip to move into my current place. By the time I leave in a year, maybe I can make my goal happen!
Follow my journey at bornagainminimalist.com.