Posted in duty, family, life

Minimalism

If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you have most surely seen a video, story, blog, or photo of a tiny house. I still remember the first time I saw a tiny house online (and then later a real one off I-10, near Seguin, Texas). I was enthralled with the dollhouse like details and how much one could fit into a tiny house that was well-designed. I could definitely see a tiny house parked out back of our place to be used as a guest house, writing and/or craft studio.

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A Texas Tiny House near Seguin, Texas – one of the company’s prototypes, this little house is made with all recycled materials.
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Another tiny house — what you see is the entire living room. The ladder leads to the sleeping loft above the kitchen.
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The sleeping loft. I took this photo standing on the ladder a few inches from the foot of the bed. Not sure where one keeps his or her clothing.

I cannot, however, see living in one full time. While I do not deny I have plenty of stuff to get rid of, the things that I use, that my guy uses — it just wouldn’t fit in one of those houses.

Earlier today Jami and I managed to throw out a healthy stack of papers, though. We managed to throw out enough stuff that we were able to consolidate what had once taken up two filing cabinet drawers and three plastic file boxes into just one file cabinet drawer, and it’s not nearly full. Mostly we threw out school papers from her brief three year stint in public school. We pulled a few “samples” of her work for posterity’s sake, and in the trash the rest went. It was really satisfying to take the few items we decided to keep and put them back in the formerly crammed full filing cabinet drawer, with plenty of room to spare. Soon I will begin scrapbooking again, and those items will make their way into a book where they can be viewed and enjoyed on a regular basis.

I guess I’m just too sentimental to be a complete minimalist, although I am working on only keeping the things that give me joy, or that mean something to my family. I realized that much of what I was keeping was out of guilt: “I can’t get rid of that, my mother gave it to me.” Or, “My girl may want that someday. I need to keep it safe for her just in case she does.” After realizing this, I’m being more selective about what I keep for myself, and I’m asking my girl to make the decisions that relate to her memories. I just know that it is hell going through your family home after a parent dies, having to make those decisions when you are already overwhelmed by emotions. Hopefully I can get my own “warehouse of memories” under control so my girl doesn’t have to deal with that when we are gone. I’m learning there’s a great deal of peace to be found when you let go of the things you thought were important, but you’ve discovered really aren’t. And it makes room for the things that bring you joy.

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I'm a scribbler and a shutterbug.

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