Tag Archives: possessions

Yard Sale-ing Again!

Call us crazy, but we had another yard sale this past weekend.

My brother just purchased a home, and the previous owner had left some things behind.  In an effort to get rid of the things he didn’t want of hers, and to make a little extra cash for remodeling purposes, the sale was more for his sake than anyone else’s.  However, I was beyond thrilled to cash out on a few more pieces of “junk”, as was my mother.

We took a couple of months to get everything together, as we weren’t sure if there would be another yard sale in our near future.  I mean, after all, we can’t have much left to purge, right?

Wrong.  Again, my mother’s dining room (the storage space for our to-go items until the day of the sale) was overflowing with our trash….er, treasures.  We couldn’t believe it!  The layers just keep falling away with each new purge.

In total, the three of us made over $1,300.00!  I pocketed $500 of that myself.  Not bad for the millionth yard sale we’ve hosted. Haha!

I’ve noticed this time around, I’m a lot less afraid of giving up the more sentimental items.  There are still a few things I will want to digitize for memory’s sake, but it’s becoming a lot easier to let the hard stuff go.  It feels amazing.

I had a few items out for sale that most people would probably never consider getting rid of, and someone even asked, “You don’t have a sentimental bone in your body, do you?”

Maybe, but it’s just a teeny one. 🙂

 

 

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We’re All Minimalists

I was talking with family the other day about my use of minimalist principles in my life and how much doing so has changed me over the past few years.

“Truthfully, I believe we’re all minimalists,” I said.

I went on to explain how we all have our favorite possessions: a handful of favorite clothes, favorite shoes, favorite jewelry, favorite hair/makeup routines, favorite pieces of technology that get most of our use, favorite bands/CDs/records, and even favorite meals that we prepare.

All minimalism does is calls us to have those favorites be in the forefront at all times, never getting pushed to the side by the mounds of clutter that creep into our homes, slowly taking over our spaces and lives.

Instead of feeling trapped by all the “stuff” around you, the “stuff” that prevents you from getting to spend the majority of your time indulged in the few favorite items that bring you the most pleasure, why don’t you consider becoming one of the brave ones?  Make the tough choices to eliminate the clutter that doesn’t bring you joy during this way-too-short period we have on this gorgeous planet.

Truthfully, based on my experience, you probably won’t even miss the cast-offs.

I honestly can’t recall a single thing I wished I had held onto during my bouts of decluttering.

And it’s funny how things change; I’ve reduced my possessions by about three-quarters, and instead of looking around and asking myself where everything went, I find myself remarking on how much there is still left to be rid of.  I know if most people saw my house, cabinets, and closets, they’d think of me as a crazy person for saying such a thing.

It’s OK, though.

My life is changing.  My goals are changing.  My definition of happiness is changing.

And my lust for life becomes more ardent with each passing day.

Again, we’re only here for such a short time.  So why should we allow ourselves to be bogged down by the things that not only don’t bring us joy, but also take joy from us?

Let your inner minimalist come out.  I promise, you won’t regret it!

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(Yet Another) Yard Sale Post

Yep.  We’re at it again, people.

Me and my mama will be having another yard sale in just 4 short weeks.

Me and the boyfriend are taking a much needed vacation up to New York for a mini-festival, hosted by my favorite band, The Felice Brothers.  (I encourage everyone to check them out.  They’re pretty freakin’ sweet.)  We just bought a ’99 Honda Civic hatchback last summer with only 67,000 miles on her (we love bragging about it) and want to take her on the open road to see parts of our lovely country that we’ve yet to experience.

We need this trip for our sanity.  Work has been a little hectic for him lately, and our time together is very limited.  We’re hoping to take our relationship to the next level in the very near future and want to enjoy this little slice of time we have before life gets too hectic again.  (It’s funny how busy life can potentially get, even when you’re living simply!)

I’m hoping to save up a little extra cash before we hit the road by selling some more things I never use.  I’ve also been paring down my possessions all along by posting them for sale on Facebook.  I love the success I’ve had with this method!

I’ve given myself a time limit so I’m forced to stay focused on another purge.  I’m finding it much more difficult to find items that aren’t getting any use these days.  This is very encouraging!  I feel like I’m really doing something right.

I’ve made real progress with my wardrobe and am continuing to eliminate pieces on a regular basis.  My kitchen contains almost only frequently used items, and my bathroom is totally uncluttered.  I feel so much more aware of my wants verses my needs than I was just 6 months ago.  Every time I think I’ve got this whole thing figured out, I find another layer to peel away.  I LOVE IT!

The only real area that needs work is me being OK with parting with my grandma’s furniture.  I currently live in her old house, and there are still a few remaining pieces of furniture that are sentimental.  I know that I don’t want to lug these beasts around when it comes time for a move–which could very possibly be sooner rather than later–and will, therefore, try to work my way up to that release before long.

One step at a time.

I like knowing that, if something were to happen to me, I won’t be leaving behind the burden of having to go through and purge my possessions to my loved-ones.  I love them so much and wouldn’t want to put them through such a daunting task.

I feel like I’m slowly, but surely, encouraging others to do the same.  Not everyone gets it–or thinks I’m sane, for that matter *LOL*–and that’s OK.  It’s not for everyone.  I’m just grateful for those in my life who not only do get it but are also so encouraging.  I appreciate you more than I can put into words.

The road is definitely a difficult and less-traveled one, but it is well worth it in the end.

It’s just nice to know I’m not alone in the journey.

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Van Dweller

My thoughts have been continually going back to the same thing lately.

I see these stories of people who sell 95% of their possessions and do things like live on a boat and travel all over the globe, and am instantly jealous.  I long to be able to live that simply.  Where my time is my own, living life as one experience after another, without the baggage of what most people consider to be normal.

I found this story on Yahoo’s home page about a student who lived in a van while going to grad school so as not to acquire any more debt.  What an awesome testimony to how little you can have in your life and get by.  Heck, not just get by, but complete grad school!  Pretty incredible, if you ask me.

This was just something I felt the need to share today.  It spoke to me, and once again, I find the wheels in my head turning.  How far do I want to go?

I’d also like to thank those of you in this blogging community who I am constantly encouraged by.  Reading your posts just reassure me that I’m not alone in this, and I’m not as crazy as most of the world around me thinks.

Have any of you embarked upon an adventure such as the ones mentioned above?

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Up In Flames

Have you ever secretly wished for a fire in your life?

I have to be honest–part of me has.  (Though, a hurricane would be more appropriate from where I’m standing.)

I know this is extreme, and, of course, not something I would actually want to have to deal with….but the thought of it is liberating.  I just finished reading an article that addresses this topic, and felt that I could definitely relate.  

Even now, after all the work I’ve done on my home.  I look around, and there’s still so much left I could be rid of it.  Even the things I know I’m not emotionally ready to release, I am fully aware that I could do without them. 

That’s what’s so intriguing about the idea of a fire.  It would completely take the decision-making process away, leaving you with only what you needed to survive.

Again, I don’t actually want to deal with the aftermath of a house-fire, and my heart aches for those who have actually had to live the nightmare of one.  I just find myself weary these days of all the decisions, and this is only because I want to go further.

need to go further.

I’m giving myself a little time–seeing as how the last purge was a pretty big one–before moving on to the next step with my possessions.  And truthfully, I feel like my focus for the moment needs to be on my health.

I’m good at sticking to something once I start it, and lately my health/diet has suffered due to my focus on other things.  This is one area that I know I can’t half-ass, so I want to get back on the health wagon, immediately, and build new, permanent, healthy habits.  I may do a post on this subject when I feel I’ve arrived at my lagom.

Do you secretly wish to be stripped of some (or all) of the decision-making when it comes to decluttering your life?

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Yard Sale Success!

What a productive weekend!

My mother and I had been planning this yard sale since before Christmas, and we were so glad for the weekend to finally arrive.

We decided to do a Friday night sale, starting at 8 pm and lasting until whenever the crowd stopped coming in, as well as the traditional Saturday morning sale.  Friday evening, people started showing up at about 5:30.  We were so busy, we were unable to finish unpacking several of our boxes.

We managed, though, with the help of my dad and my cousins, who also contributed some items.  They’re my favorite people to throw one of these things with.  We always have the most fun.

Between all of us, we made over $1,000.

I find this hard to believe, considering we’ve had multiple yard sales over the past couple of years, and always think we’ve gotten rid of everything there is to get rid of.  I distinctly remember at our last yard sale saying, “Well, this will probably be our last one.  We’ve finally gotten rid of almost everything we don’t need or use.”

We couldn’t have been more wrong.

I was reminded of a quote from–don’t laugh–Dawson’s Creek:

Letting go isn’t a one-time thing.  It’s something you have to do over and over, everyday.

Such true words! I can’t even tell you how eye-opening and freeing the experience was!

Normally, I would hang on to the items that didn’t sell, in hopes of selling them at our next yard sale….but this time….

I just wanted to be rid of it.

Don’t get me wrong–I did save a few things that I can get quite a bit of cash for on Ebay or what have you.  But all the other stuff?  Gone, baby, gone.

My mom and I took 5 large tubs of left-over items to Goodwill and will be taking about 2 tubs worth of clothing to a local charity through the Methodist church.  We also ended up with a box of books (novels, textbooks, music books) that didn’t sell–which will be donated to the local library–as well as a box of religious books that we will donate to our church.  Last, we have about 2 tubs worth of antiques that we will try to sell to a local antique store.  We’ve done this in the past with a few items and have been very pleased with what we were paid for them.

So, all in all, the weekend was a success.

Our loads are lighter, and we are a little bit richer….in more ways than one.

And, my mom finally got her dining room back.

🙂

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Collecting Clutter

Have you ever collected anything?

I’ve seen my family members and friends do it (even though I know and am glad my mom’s “snowman collection” was more talk than anything else), and I know I’ve been guilty of it.  I’ve collected lots of things, actually.

Let’s see….there was the beanie baby phase, Backstreet Boys posters, the movie ticket stubs and Chinese fortunes, rocks from various places I visited, magazines, movie posters, key chains that were way too cumbersome to ever actually carry around, purses, silly graphic t-shirts, tour t-shirts from my favorite bands, clothes in general from my employment period with American Eagle….

There were even things that no one should ever need more than one of–like hairbrushes and bed comforters.

Just thinking back on all the things I used to own makes me nervous, but also excited over how far I’ve come.  It motivates me to keep pushing forward to get to that place that feels right for me.

It’s funny, because, even though the things I have left in my life seem necessary now, I know that they’re really not.  I can’t wait to see how far I take this thing.

I can’t wait to finally travel light!

Even now, I can’t say that I don’t have any collections in my life.

There’s still a few of those Dave Matthews Band tour t-shirts that keep hanging around, along with a ridiculously large collection of TOMS shoes and an obscene music collection–this includes several large stacks of vinyl that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to part with.

At least the few things I collect now are things with use or meaning: I still wear my band shirts and TOMS shoes (which I also support because I believe in their cause), and music is a huge part of my life.  I prefer the sound of vinyl recordings to mp3s and almost always choose to buy the actual CD over the digital download.  Is this something that will change?  Maybe.  Just not quite yet.

I wrote this to convince you that any collection is probably a bad idea, but I realize, now, that there are a few exceptions to that rule.

Ultimately, though, we should strive to collect knowledge and awareness more than any material possessions.

This is something I can definitely say I do.  I learn something new or am made aware of new things almost daily.  I love to seek out information on the topics and ideas that move me and love sharing them with others.

I encourage you all to do the same.

So, stop collecting and start collecting….the right things.

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Minimalism is not defined by what is not there, but by the rightness of what is and the richness with which this is experienced.

–John Pawson

JP

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Your life is far too valuable to live like everyone else….Value your relationships more than your stuff….Break the trend of consumerism in your life!

–Joshua Becker

JB

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Nice to Meetcha.

After some thought on the matter, I’ve finally decided to join the blogging world.

This thought started sometime in 2011, around the time I decided to become a minimalist.  I started a “note” on Facebook and kept updating it as I felt necessary.  Obviously not the best method for online journaling, I finally broke down and went the blog route.

As I stated above, my life has been changing recently in a very minimalist direction.  I feel like I need to copy/paste my previous Facebook note (or at least the juicier parts of it) for you to grasp my beginning in this journey.  Sorry this post is longer than you probably want to read.  I’ll try to keep it short and put my biggest points in bold.

🙂

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i hate new year’s resolutions. i never do them. it’s lame to me. why not make changes anytime of the year. if you see something that you need to do differently, don’t waste another minute. DO IT NOW! you never know how many days you have left.

i guess that’s why i chose now to make a change. it really has nothing at all to do with the new year, but more to do with the realization of how unpredictable life can be. you see, my family and i lost someone very close to us at the very end of december. the worst part is, we were told everything would be ok. he’ll be fine. then four days later, it happened.

it made me really step back and evaluate my life. what’s important?

now, if anyone knows me at all, they probably know that i’m extremely organized. i definitely have a case of ocd, which i’m pretty sure was passed down to me from my mother. i have a schedule for almost everything. i can’t live without my day planner and my innumerable amount of rubbermaid containers. everything has a place. i’ve always seen this as a good thing in my life. however, as of late, i see it as a handicap. in all this organization, i’ve also come to be somewhat of a hoarder. not as bad as some, i am aware, but a hoarder nonetheless.

after the funeral was over, i was back at work, and the separation from my family began to sink in, i felt an intense urge to get rid of everything. it was suffocating. i could not simply go through my days ignoring this inner pull for change. i couldn’t go back to the clutter that had become my life—my “normal”. i wanted my life to consist of things that mattered, and only those things.

it started with going through my old clothes; now it’s grown to EVERYTHING in my line of sight. i’ve gone on this raging rampage of tossing all of the trash out of my life.

i’ve always been sentimental when it comes to possessions, not for money reasons or the-more-stuff-you-have-the-happier-you-are reasons, but because i attach memories and experiences with my stuff. so, i started googling ways to emotionally let go of these things. after all, it’s the memories and experiences themselves that really matter. not the “stuff” to prove it happened.

as i researched and researched and researched, i kept coming across these recurring themes of the joys of having less, less is more, cling to what matters and let go of what doesn’t…. and it was like i finally figured out what i wanted to do. I WANTED TO BE A MINIMALIST! now, maybe not in the most extreme way. for example, i don’t plan on trading out my bed for a sleeping bag on the floor anytime soon.

minimalism isn’t about deprivation. instead, it’s about finding the things that truly make you happy and filling your life with them.

i’m still in the early stages of this journey, and i’ve read that it takes a LOT of time and energy to reach a goal of this magnitude. it’s a complete lifestyle change. it takes total honesty with yourself, a clear head, and the ability to let go. no amount of me releasing my possessions can even hold a candle to the loss that my family and i are experiencing now. knowing this makes me hopeful. i hope to, bit by bit and piece by piece, simplify my life only to the things that are important.

in reducing my life, i will be increasing it.

i’m so excited about this! everyday i find more things that are frivolous in my life, and the more i toss, the more i WANT to toss. i can’t wait for my personal surroundings to be a tangible representation of what’s inside my heart. 

if there’s anything i want to do here, other than declutter my own life, it’s to influence others to follow my lead. to quote leo babauta, who put together a great little book i’m working through entitled “the simple guide to a minimalist life”, we all need to ”learn the concept of Enough……and figure out what makes [us] happy.” after we do that, we should then “get rid of the rest, so [we] have room for those important things.”

“be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. when you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”  -lao tzu

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I hope that you see where I’m coming from, now, and can maybe even relate to me on some level or another.

This really is a process that works in layers.  Since beginning this journey, I’ve probably been responsible for putting together about 5 garage sales to declutter my life.  While having one, I always feel like I’ve achieved my end goal, only to realize later that there is still so much left to be rid of!  I’m actually in the process of planning another one right now.

When having a garage sale, I usually have the help of my wonderful parents, but especially my mother.  She’s my best friend and has been on board with this whole idea from Day 1.  I’m so happy to have inspired her in this way!  Her excitement about streamlining her life is contagious.

Well, there you have it.  I think I’ve said enough for my first blog post.

This should give you guys something to chew on for a couple of days until my next entry.

While reading, have you been thinking of things you can do without?

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