My first blog post ‘Why it matters’ was written in July 2013. This post still summarizes my motivation to seek a simpler life with less clutter, so I decided to give it its own page.
I am not planning to promote this blog. This isn’t really for other people. It’s mostly for me and especially for my daughter, “Rie”. It is about what is important in Life and what I hope my daughter learns about Life.
Here’s the problem. I work full-time, as does my darling husband, “D”. Before we had Rie, we decided to buy a home that we would be able to afford on one income. This way, if one of us wanted to go back to school, or if one of us lost our job (insert other unforeseeable life events), we would still be able to make ends meet. So we bought a smallish three-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home in the suburbs. No basement, but there is an out-building and a double garage.
In January of 2013 we welcomed Rie into our home. The stuff started to accumulate. A stroller. A stroller that holds the carseat. A double stroller for those days when we have Rie and her cousin. An activity mat. An exersaucer. A swing in the living room. A swing in Rie’s room. It just kept multiplying.
In a panic, I came to believe we needed a larger home with a basement. Maybe a four-bedroom with 2.5 baths, a living room, a den, dining room, eat-in kitchen, huge garage, oh, and a basement. Well, needless to say, if we were to buy a home like that, we would both be committed to working full-time for the next thirty years. So much for being flexible to handle life!
It’s time refocus. Do I want to stress about making a huge mortgage payment just so I can house all the stuff or do I want to teach my daughter how to really live? Of course anybody would choose the latter. Of course we want to be happy and teach our children to be happy too. Happiness is not a double stroller. It’s a mindset.
So why does minimizing the stuff matter?
1. With less stuff in the way, you can see what is really important. God does not care how many pairs of black heels I own. He does care that I use my resources to show His love to others.
2. I don’t want my daughter to become emotionally attached to stuff. Keeping your parents’ wedding photo is one thing; holding onto a ten-year-old tee shirt that doesn’t fit is another. I don’t want stuff to weigh her down and force her into an unhappy or financially unstable life.
3. I love the earth God made. Really and truly. I love hiking and bird-watching. It doesn’t make sense that someone who loves the earth would not try harder to lessen her carbon footprint.
4. I want to be financially stable. I do not want to be nickeled and dimed by stuff that falls apart (and takes up space in my home). Not buying the stuff in the first place saves money for Rie’s college, retirement, travel, charity, and anything else that is more important than another tube of lipstick.
5. If I manage to clear out the third bedroom in our home, we will have space for another baby. Babies do not count as stuff. 🙂
Here I will chronicle my journey through the stuff. I hope to come out an enlightened, happier person on the other end. It is going to start with a trip to the medicine cabinet…