Discovering What’s Important

When I get an idea in my head, I become obsessed with it. I immerse myself it in. I read about it, think about it; write, talk and blog about it. If you’ve been reading here lately you’ll know what I mean. I have become completely enthralled with the idea of minimalism.

Here’s what I’m learning:

Sometimes when I am about to get rid of an item, I suddenly think “Oh no, I’d better keep it. After all I’ve always wanted to xyz and when I get around to it, that’s exactly what I’ll need. It would be expensive to buy it all over again.”

In the process of getting rid of clutter I am discovering what I really care about.

Suddenly as I’m about to throw away art supplies for example, I remember that I really love creating things. But herein lies the problem: it is in storing excessive numbers of items like these that is preventing me from enjoying them.

I have so much stuff that I’m keeping for that elusive day when life feels perfect and I have time; the house is tidy and the children settled. That’s when I’ll pull out say, the art supplies and create something. But because of all the crap in my life, that day never comes. I rarely do the things I really want to because I’m distracted and busied by everything else. My brain feels chaotic.

So, I’ve decided to be ruthless. Even if I think I am going to use something one day, I’m still going to get rid of it unless, a) I’m already using it regularly or b)it adds joy, inspiration or beauty to my life as it is already.

Surprisingly few items fit that criteria.

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9 thoughts on “Discovering What’s Important

  1. Just be very sure before you throw out something–you can’t get it back. When my dad died there was so much stuff I would have liked to keep but just didn’t have the space unless I wanted my house and garage looking like his with just a little path to walk through, so I got rid of most of it. I regret tossing out the art easel my dad made though even though I’m not painting currently. Someday I hope to paint again. Here’s a link to my post about it:

    • Hi Karen,
      I appreciate your comment… You’re right…sentimental items are things you can’t get back, and I’m sorry you regret losing the easel. I’m not going to chuck sentimental things, just some clutter. But thanks for your advice…you’ve made me think.

  2. You are doing well Erin – I am on the opposite side of the fence – trying to fill my new house after getting rid of everything – even now we have more than we need and its only been 6 months. I’ve discovered I can manage without a potato peeler and masher and only 1 pot and pan. Maybe keep a couple of extra towels – Auckland can be quite rainy and you don’t want to be stuck with wet towels.

    • Yes, there is nothing like an international move to de-clutter. At least with my current obsession, if we move, I’ll be ready!
      Yeah a couple of spare towels might be handy. (but not 18.)

  3. I came over to visit from the Blog Frog forum! I think it’s great just the way it is – it’s simple, easy to read through and navigate, and most importantly your writing is engaging and interesting. And (big plus point for me!) you’re a homebirthing homeschooling mama who’s into minimalism – yay! I’m adding you to my Google reader.

  4. E, be careful! :) Sometimes things are good for memories. But I think the things that you shouldn’t throw away are the art supplies. They are really important. Especially with the kiddiwinks. The trick is now, not to say when the time is perfect, but to make the time. As, let’s face it, there is always something else that needs doing in life. Find the time to be creative, if you can’t or don’t want the kids involved that is cool too, just make sure there is creative time. It is really important for the soul and mind I think. :)

    • G. I am getting warnings about the art supplies. OK. They stay. I still have plenty of other junk to chuck out anyway. You’re so right… creativity is good for the soul. Speaking of which, got yr email. Can’t wait to read your work.

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