Kevin’s back at work for the Canucks so he’s been out of the house all week. Tomorrow we’re out after work and then he leaves for Philadelphia on Saturday night. It might as well be lacrosse season again. Good thing I like spending time alone!
When I was out with my girlfriend last night, I made a confession that I’ve been thinking about ever since.
A little background: my girlfriend lives in a single family home with her husband and they’ve been there for decades. We’ve also known each other for decades and in that time we’ve regularly had conversations about home organization, decluttering, even minimalism. We read stories, we share them. We create strategies, we execute them. We try new things, we give them up.
I have great admiration for people who live lives governed by rules or routines. There’s nothing less enjoyable for me than that kind of lifestyle, but I look upon their dedication with awe. Sometimes my wonderment gets the best of me and I even start to think that I should try to do the same stuff, but here’s the thing:
I do not like it.
I first started to realize that a couple of years ago when I really wanted to use some of the stuff I’d given away. Ever since, I’ve been way more cautious about the things I give away or discard and more realistic and honest about what I want to keep.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an aspiring hoarder (is there even such a thing?) I want to have stuff and in some cases even a lot of stuff, but I also want to have streamlined spaces and be able to store the things I choose to keep, but don’t necessarily use year round. I want to feel our space is uncluttered and I even like feeling that there is minimal “extra” in the house. I want to keep the things that spark joy, but here’s the honest truth about me: most things spark joy in me so that isn’t the kind of limitation that Marie Kondo has in mind.
So, I’m accepting the part of me that keeps things that make me happy and shirts that I love even though I’ve only wore them once…yet. I like looking at old birthday cards and letters and photographs. I cherish pieces of memorabilia from my childhood and from my parents’ childhoods and from their parents’ and so on. I love my growing (and well used!) china collection.
Declutter zealots will look down there noses and explain away all the ways I’m not living as well as I could or not doing things the way that a should. I find it’s a very judgmental and self-important crowd, if I’m honest.
My confession to my girlfriend last night: I am not a minimalist and I like it that way.
Where do you fall on the minimalism/hoarding spectrum? Is your position based on anything other than what makes you feel good? If so, what?