Back in the Saddle

I promised an update at the end of the first week of the thing-a-day challenge: here it is!

I have to admit that I took a vacation from paring down over the summer. I started to find myself reluctant to get rid of things, wanting to hold onto them instead. The same old rationalizations (“maybe this will be useful someday” or “well, I’ll keep it because it was a gift”) were crossing my lips more and more often. There’s nothing wrong with keeping something that is actually useful, or a gift you treasure. It’s the potentially-useful, not-quite-treasures that trip me up. So I undertook the thing-a-day challenge. And you know what? It lit a fire under me. So far our little household has gotten rid of:

  • a wrap dress that didn’t quite fit
  • a nice sweater I almost never wore
  • 3 dish towels
  • a desktop organizer (and much of what was in it)
  • a book I’d already read
  • a mailing tube I thought I might use (I don’t even have any posters to mail…)
  • 3 old bottles of shampoo and lotion

And that’s a week’s worth of minifying, right there. I’m still trying to recycle or donate whatever I can, because just landfilling all of this wouldn’t be responsible. That means that I’m due for a thrift store run – I haven’t really achieved anything until I take that final step. But even just having packed away those few things each day to donate or recycle, the house is a little better, it’s inspiring us to keep it a little bit cleaner, and I feel like I’m back in the rhythm of how I want to be living. At the very least, there are some actual clear surfaces up in this place!

I still believe that one of the greatest truths I’ve learned in my adult life is that the spaces we occupy, most especially our homes, really do matter – they impact our happiness, our habits, our well-being. It’s up to us to shape them to fit the kinds of lives we want to have. And that doesn’t mean buying newer, shinier stuff. For me at least, it still means a simple, healthy, happy home.

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