Thursday, January 03, 2008

Our Journey to Simplicity

110 Hangers. Sweetheart counted. Actually, it would have been more like 115-120, but a few I just threw out.

These mark the beginnings of our efforts to simplify our lives. Each empty hanger represents an item of clothing that was donated to the Salvation Army. Never mind how many things weren't on hangers, we didn't try to count all those. All I know is that the closets and drawers have so much more space in them now and the Salvation Army does a wonderful job of picking up massive, and I mean massive, piles of stuff left out for them to take away. We also ended up with about 20 empty Rubbermaid tubs that had been filled with stuff.

How did this happen? Things were just bought a few items at a time, many from the thrift stores, over the last almost 10 years of marriage. It's added up to a lot. Sweetheart and I had a wonderful discussion one night that led to the beginnings of the purge. And it's just the beginning. I wish we were at the end, but we're not. We off-loaded a ton of stuff, but there is still so much to go through and get rid of.

We were discussing our desire to lead a simpler life, a discussion we've had before, but this time it's been different. No one is upset, or feeling dumped on. We're both in this together and trying to get through it together. In fact, Sweetheart is downstairs going through two tubs of papers, sorting what needs to be kept, and what needs to be shredded. I'm just taking a break, but will go through one more drawer before going to sleep tonight.

I've not been posting as much in the last few weeks, as I am often trying to weed through things after the boys go to sleep. We did take off some time for Christmas and family gatherings, but are now trying to hit it hard again. It's a process. I need to remind myself of that as I get discouraged that there is still so much to do.

It's funny. If you came to our home a month ago and came back today, you probably wouldn't see much of a change, except that you can now hang your coat up in the coat closet. The regular rooms haven't been cluttered up. It's been the closets and the basement. It's amazing how much you can store in a basement.

But, I do know there is a difference. I'm thrilled with how much is gone, just from my kitchen cupboards. Most of the stuff that we've given away hasn't even been that hard to do this time. I think it's because our hearts and attitudes have changed. However, I think I'll be going back through the kitchen a few more times to see what else needs to find a new home. Now it's getting harder. Guess the fun has just begun!

I'll be posting as I can about some of the changes we're making and why. I am excited about them. It'll be good, hard, but good. Keep us in your prayers.


BaileyZimmerman said...

What a load off your shoulders!! I bet you feelk lighter?
I'm starting to dump things too...I love it!!!

Kelli said...

It must feel great to get things cleaned up and organized, Kimberly! Happy New Year!

Pam said...

Congratulations on your commitment to purge unneeded stuff. I believe that everything you own, owns a piece of you - in time to take care of it, space to store it, money spent maintaining it. I've had this mindset since my early twenties when I was the person who had to go through my mother-in-laws home after she passed away. (She always meant to tackle it but was taken from us before she got to it.) I find MY real challenge is to not buy too much stuff in the course of day to day living, or I just create a fresh need to purge. (I read your blog regularly, but I'm not sure if I've commented before. I'm Jodi's sister from the Deputy Domain.) I also loved your everything books, so inspirational!! Best of Luck with your New Years project.

Shan said...


I too have been simplifying my home.I was amazed at how many things had been tucked into cupboards and were never missed or used. Our family had a massive purge of our clothes closets and drawers. Also, as each holiday has come and gone, I have only put out the decorations that I absolutely love. And guess what? I had quite a few things to take to the thrift store!

I think simplifying is not about counting how many objects clutter up our lives, but it is about living with only the things that are useful and joyful.

Here's to a wonderful journey!

Your friend,

Anonymous said...

Hi Sis,
We must be in purge mode together! I mentioned to hubby that it didn't look like anything was different in our house, but he said "now you can open the cupboards and things don't crash down on your head!"...for now, it's all in our garage, soon to be picked up by salvation army! I agree that we don't need so much stuff. If it doesn't add beauty to my life or I don't absolutely love it, I'm not hanging on to it. Keep up the good effort. (Ouch! The kitchen is harder for me than I thought...parting with clothes and worn out shoes, no problem...but not the kitchen gadgets!) love you!

Mary Isabella said...

I am trying to do the same thing here. Too much stuff. Smiles

The Ramblin' Rat said...

What an encouraging post! We really need to do this in our house, and simplifying is one of my goals for this year. It's so nice to read like minded blogs.


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