Why Mooving 2 Minimalism?


     You probably know that when trying to sell a house, it’s easier to keep it “show ready” instead of rush to straighten only for appointments.  That way, all that’s left to do is leave.  I’d rather not stress out by trying to grab anything left out and run to stash it in the car trunk, but instead, use that hour to take my dog, purse, and keys, and head to the park.   

And for me, out of that motivation to sell, some good results have come.. One of them being the motivation to pass on those no-longer-needed items, and declutter. Of course, “no longer-needed” items are often items that can be done without.  Not that every family member is always motivated to declutter at the same time. I’m certainly not saying that. (I am still hoping a certain family member will declutter the top of his closet, and throw out those pants left over from college, back in 1989). 

 But do I have to become a minimalist just to sell my house? No, not if you want to rent storage space or have a friend with lots of free storage space.  And actually that was my only motivation: to make the house look decluttered. I thought I’d just put it all in the attic. But then I went up in the attic, and saw I really had little room to store anything up there!  Ok… I don’t know where all that stuff came from!

 Actually I do, I just don’t know why I kept  it all! (Well, I didn’t @ the time, but I do now. I grew up hearing… “I think I’ll keep that. I might need it later.” )

   And …. that’s what started it.

So back to the attic….I began to go through years of teaching paraphernalia, posters, letters, school supplies, games, and teaching materials from ’89.’    But now my teaching stuff is compacted into five boxes, which may seem like a lot, but for someone who started teaching back in 1986, that is saying something.   I was able to give away about 2 box loads of stuff: stuff like: pencils, 7 reams of unopened copy paper, (teachers are known for their stockpiling expertise) notebooks and notepaper, notepads, individual chalkboards,  crayons, staples, etc… (No teacher ever has enough pencils.)

Luckily I have a friend who just got her first teaching job, and needed everything.   She teaches in a Memphis urban school, and her first graders seldom show up with even a pencil, much less the other stuff.  She took whatever she wanted out of the stuff, and I donated the rest to a Sunday school and Goodwill.  Everybody won! Especially me! I got to declutter and I felt good about it. (Sometimes it makes the letting go easier if I know who it’s helping), and my friend and her class now have supplies to nurture learning.   

The other boxes, I will actually use when I return to teaching, but if it turns out I don’t use them in the nest year, I can give them to another teacher, or a school. 

  This is why I say I am mooving toward minimalism. The moo in the mooving meaning-like a cow- it’s a slow process.  Cows, if you don’t know, rarely run, unless they must. They move very slooowly! A dairyman knows a cow shouldn’t run since it hinders her milk production, and maybe cows know it too, because they sure are difficult to motivate, unless by food. They are stubborn, and have their own pace. Every tried to move one?

I am moving toward minimalism-at my own pace-slowly, which is actually how many of us come to minimalism. Getting a house ready to sell, and selling a house, especially in the current housing market is a slow process, but becoming a minimalist, even if  for awhile, can really help. And you might find you like it!

 Being a minimalist means different things to different folks. To some, it means getting one room, (or an attic decluttered) for  another it means selling everything and moving to the woods. To some it means becoming a monk, to others downsizing from a mansion, to a tiny house.  (Check out Ozarks Crescent Mural on the blogroll for more pics).

 For me it was slow, but it happened when I started thinking about why I had the stuff  I had. Once I figured that out, I was able to reevaluate and decide what to minimize. 

And that is what makes minimalism so ‘doable’–it’s flexibility. But it is more than just getting rid of stuff, but about trying to focus on what really matters toyou.   Minus the clutter, and the time spent cleaning and organizing the clutter, —what really matters?

Just like everyone else I have to do stuff: carpool, laundry, grocery shopping, car care, yard work, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, etc. And now because our house is for sale, I get to do it more often.  I have gotten busier with other things lately, like blogging, reading up on how to blog better, taxes, and car repair, but what I’ve noticed is my stress level is much lower, and  I am more relaxed. Why? Because my house is straight and tidy. If people drop by I don’t have to freak out and try to throw stuff in the closet. Have you ever done that?  Now I just have to answer the door!

Relaxing !

When my teen was a toddler, I used to love getting together with other moms with toddlers the same age as my daughter.  A close friend of mine had a daughter who was about the same age as mine, and we used to get the girls together and hang out @ each other’s houses once every few weeks. Our daughter’s loved spending time together as did we. So, one day, on a day that wasn’t our scheduled time to get together, I was in her neighborhood, and decided to drop by and surprise her. So I went to her house, knocked on the door, waited a bit, walked around to the back yard to see if they were in the back yard, came back to the door, and knocked again. Finally, she came to the door. She had been home the entire 10 minutes I been outside(sweating profusely.  And she was glad to see me, and thanked me for dropping by, but would NOT let me in!  She said her house was too dirty! This was a close friend, too! Instead, she told me to drive around for 30 minutes and then come back.

Needless to say, that made an impression on me. I couldn’t believe that she would not let me in, or that her house was that bad!   That seemed so odd to me!  And yet, I, too, have had those times when I thought:  ‘Man- it would be nice to have someone over..if only the house was clean, but I’d have had to declutter it just to clean it!”    Minimalism really helps me with that, because there is less stuff to clean and less knickknacks to dust!  Organizers are great, walk-in closets are great, but do we REALLY need all those clothes?! 

What about you? Is decluttering a constant issue? Are you longing to minimize your stuff, or are you minimally minimizing? Any challenges?  Share your comments!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 16:16:04

    I love this – “The moo in the mooving meaning-like a cow- it’s a slow process.”

    Thanks for the mention! That’s very sweet of you.


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