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.
I think you’ll enjoy this story from Ahsha; her words just radiate the joy and freedom that comes with a minimalist lifestyle! Visit her blog to read more about her experiences.
My name is Ahsha, bestowed upon me by my incredible son when he was a toddler. It is one of the few things I will never part with.
I grew up in a large country family. Our home was filled with furniture that had been passed down from many grandmothers. Closets and wardrobes were bursting at the seams because it takes a lot of clothing for six children and wash day was only once a week on a wringer washing machine.
When I became a young wife and mother, I inherited many of these same items and went into collecting mode myself. After my marriage was over, I developed itchy feet and moved several times over numerous state lines. With every move I discarded more and more stuff. Every apartment or house was sparse, bare and beautiful.
But when I bought a home in 2008, it immediately got filled to the brim. Even the 1500 square foot basement was piled up. Finally, it all got to me and my bone deep need for space took over and I knew all the stuff had to go. A friend and I held a huge yard sale out in the front yard one Saturday.
I sold anything that I could pull off the wall, out of a box or that would go through the door. I cleared my living room of everything but a sofa, my grandmother’s small writing desk and one table. The den was depleted of loveseats, television, computer desk and wall art. It is now wonderfully bare with only my son’s keyboard.
After the sale was over, I called the local thrift store to pick up the leftovers. As the two men were loading the truck, I was carrying out even more items from inside our home and shoving them into their arms. When that big truck finally pulled out of the driveway, I was literally dancing across the yard. I felt so free and like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I have never regretted one item that left that day.
Other bonuses have surfaced also. Our tiny 1200 square foot home now seems spacious and bright. My little boy who has always refused to give up any toys now is constantly giving away Legos, soldiers, action figures and the like. He loves the space we have now. The full basement is his playroom where he can run around freely without fear of tripping or falling.
We continually clean and find items to remove from our home. It is a lovely way of life and we have a new awareness about our environment. Without the chaos of clutter, we have time to focus in one another and our community.
In another huge step, nay leap, in my journey to simplify life, I decided to stop coloring my hair. That was a breathtaking moment as my hair was long. I let the roots grow out until they were several inches long then went to a trusted hairdresser and had her cut it boy short to remove as much color as possible. Now I have my very own personal silver linings that follow me everywhere I go and remind me that I do not needs things dictated by society to be a beautiful and wise lady.
With the free time I now enjoy (not having to clean and care for household clutter) I have even written several books that have been accepted for publication. It is amazing where a minimalist lifestyle can take a person, a family, a community and the world.