Saturday, December 15, 2012

Becoming Minimalist – and not even knowing it!

After living with my then fiance, now husband, for a year and receiving nearly every gift on our registry from our wedding, we realized we were in a dilemma!  We were about to move overseas for an unknown period of time having no idea if we would be back to live in the states.  What should we take with us? What should we buy there? What should we store? Where will we store it? Should we store anything?  The journey to minimalist living had begun!  The thing was, I did not realize it. I was trying to be practical and subconsciously was on my way to simpler life style.

We had a lot of stuff that had accumulated.  A lot of clothing, kitchen items/gadgets, toiletries, you name it, we had it!  So we started going through everything and ended up giving away at least 4 garbage bags of clothes to charity.  As much as I tried to use up our food before moving I realized it was not going to be easy.  So I packaged up all the unopened, nonperishables and took them to the food pantry, then loaded up my kitchen table with all our opened but perfectly edible food and invited friends to come on over and take what they like!  This ended up being a perfect solution, as I did not want anything to go to waste.  As a couple, we had always cared about recycling and not wasting, but this exercise got my brain jogging about green living and being as resourceful as possible.

Of course, I still had not read up on Minimalism, I still did not know that it existed, so instead of limiting myself to our 4 suitcases and 2 carry-ons, I started sending clothing with friends who were making trips to our destination that summer.  I also had anxiety about being able to find toiletries and other products that I love in our new home, so I sent supplies with friends and family as well.

We were also fortunate that my husband’s employer was allowing us to ship 300 pounds of stuff to our new home, and we took advantage of that as well.  Our shipment contained: shoes, winter clothing and jackets, towels, blankets, books, dishes, toiletries and other household objects.  In the end it consisted of the 6 boxes below.



We looked through all the amazing gifts we received from our registry and decided to choose the items we knew we would never ever purchase for ourselves in the future and store those at my wonderful parents’ house.  The rest we ended up returning and used the money to finish out our china set, something that was very important for us to have for the future, also stored at my parents’ house.  Until we know more about our future plans, we decided this was the best decision, and luckily, my parents were understanding and willing to assist us.

Most people would consider the amount we moved with internationally was quite minimal.  But shortly after our arrival, I started realizing how little we actually need, how little we actually use, and that dealing with less ‘stuff’ would have made that move less stressful. 

During the 7 weeks we lived with my in-laws I discovered a few minimalist blogs that inspired me to look at this move as a fresh start for a simpler life with less things, less stress and more meaning.  I encourage you to visit my three go-to blogs that I visit every Saturday:

miss minimalist
The Everyday Minimalist
The Minimalist Woman

This was my chance to start over and make new life style choices.  I am hoping that sharing my story, my discoveries, and my thoughts on these subjects can help those of you out there who are also on a journey of your own!  I want this to be an interactive blog, so please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!  Subscribe to my RSS blog feed and feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions, or future topic ideas!