The minimalist lifestyle was forced upon me by accident when my family of four moved into a 700-square foot house three years ago. I sorted through all my stuff, throwing away ripped t-shirts and donating barely used comforters. I condensed my kitchen supplies down to the basics. The toaster, microwave, and blender didn’t make the cut.
I then purchased another blender, because those things are actually really handy. I didn’t miss the microwave oven, and even though we now live in a 1,400-square foot home, I haven’t purchased a new one. Besides cleaning out my closet and whittling down my book collection, I helped my kids eliminate unused toys and worn clothing items as well.
I had to minimize our possessions in order to fit into our previous home, but I continue to clear out clutter because I like the lifestyle. I’m by no means a true minimalist; I keep a few boxes of off-season clothes stored in a closet and own more than 12 books. I was especially conflicted about the book issue. I gave away plenty of paperbacks I already read or don’t care to read, but I kept many volumes that I have read several times. Some books are like friends, and I like knowing they live on my shelf.
Clearing the clutter every six months helps keep the broken toys and worn-out shoes from taking over the house, though. My kids like having more space to play in their rooms, and I like spending less time cleaning and organizing our possessions. This includes washing the blender, but as long as it keeps churning out smoothies in the summertime, I don’t mind.