The “Minimal” List…

The universe has this funny way of coaxing me into things that I am mentally toying with. I was ready to make some changes 4 years ago when we left Oklahoma for my partner’s new job in India. I looked at it as a clean slate scenario. I was being given the chance to downsize and simplify (I thought) and an opportunity to enjoy another culture up close and personal (I didn’t realize at the time how up close it was going to be).

It turns out that I much prefer India as a tourist/traveler but that is all on me and my personal preferences and not really the country or it’s people that are at fault. So, as you know, we are once again at that point where it is time to move on and I have been in the process of unloading 4 years of accumulated “stuff.” Things that I hadn’t planned on acquiring especially in the quantities that we now have. Most of the items will be (once again) readily available and therefore “stocking up” will no longer be necessary (thankfully).

I have been doing more sorting, donating and recycling than blogging as of late and I have made fairly decent progress, so much so, that I was beginning to feel like I could just sit back and enjoy these last two weeks. We were actually leaving India with less stuff than we brought over (we sold, donated, recycled and gifted everything but our personal items and some heirloom/sentimental items) and I was thrilled about that. I have been toying with Minimalism for several years now and after spending the summer in Bulgaria under very simple standards I know I can do it and be happy.

This move was a chance to once again purge all but the necessities and then we got the news, which is way to convoluted to even go into and I am not sure I could really do it justice but things wont be shipped home. I am, with just weeks until we leave, going thru EVERYTHING again. I went through my closet yesterday and I am certain that I can squeeze everything (clothes, shoes, hygiene products to cosmetics) into a large suitcase. I now have a minimalist capsule wardrobe…almost (there are a few extra pairs of jeans, I am a girl with some junk in her trunk and I hate shopping for jeans so they stay).

Next I went through my art and craft stash and took it down to the bare minimum, luckily I have a special pack for my camera and equipment (carry on). The dogs each get a backpack (doggy size: 2 back up leashes, 2 foldable water bowls and 2 beloved toys) and the three cats are sharing one (3 crinkle balls, a bag of cat nip, a cat wand with attachments, foldable water bowl and the jellyfish I crocheted for them). Everything else is…well…needing to go elsewhere.

It hasn’t been an easy process. It is hard to let go of things and I found that initially there was some guilt and anger in the process. I felt guilty for parting with gifts or sentimental items…even if I had never used them. I also felt angry that I wasted so much money and time. I made a list to help me cull everything. Do I love it? Do I use it? Have I worn it? If yes, does it still fit? Does it flatter, Do I like the color, fabric, etc.? Does it go with anything else in my wardrobe? Will it take to much time to clean it, find a place for it or protect it from the dogs, cats or my sister? Can I find it on the internet or at the library (music, books, movies)?

Two Piles: Keep or Donate. Keep what I love, need, use or cant find on the internet or library and donate the rest. If I use it or love it but it takes too much time to clean, protect or find a place for it or if I have duplicates or something similar…donate. If I couldn’t make up my mind it came down to: Do I want this item or do I want more time to do what I love? This has brought us down to 4 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, 3 pet packs…

and…

I have one tiny little box of sentimental items that belonged to loved ones that are now gone and I will go through those (again) later (probably with a new list as a guide…I am a list maker what can I say). The real test will be upon arrival at our destination and I have to replace furniture, and household items. I plan on taking my time, necessary things first, and make intentional choices; stuff or time. My ultimate intention is to live simply so I have more time to not only do the things I love but spend that time with those I love. Less is More.

 

Photo: Hanging On. Hotel Chandelier in Sofia, Bulgaria taken by me

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