Minimalism and Simplicity

I’ve always been drawn to the minimalism movement.  When I lived alone, I tried to only buy the things that I needed.  Every time I moved, I still found myself getting rid of a lot of things that somehow got accumulated over time.  I found that the hardest things to get rid of were sentimental items, e.g., a gift from a family member or loved one.  Now that I live with my wife, I find that our combined things are excessive and burdensome.

I’ve started a campaign to declutter our living space.  I find that papers and files take up a lot of space and requires extra furniture for storage.  I’ve started clearing out these files, and the remaining files will be scanned and stored electronically.  CDs and DVDs also take up a lot of space.  I’m going to convert all of our CD and DVDs electronically (nice way of saying rip them), then donate the physical media to Goodwill.  Then we can start going through books and getting rid of the ones we don’t plan on reading again.  That effort alone will result in getting rid of a lot of junk.  The side benefit is that we’ll have developed a cloud storage filing system of all our electronic data.  I may post about our approach later.  Also, I can finally get rid of the cheap veneered particle board filing cabinet that I reluctantly accepted years ago.

Next, we’ll attack my wife’s clothes.  She used to buy a lot of clothing from the Gap and H&M.  She’s been good about not buying more, but what she had is still there.  She also seems to have a lot of purses and shoes — guess that’s just a girl thing.  I’ve been encouraging her to get rid of extra shoes and clothing, and if necessary, buy higher quality pieces.

While a lot of our unwanted items will go to Goodwill for a nominal tax deduction, we also have more valuable things we want to get rid of.  For example, we have 2 digital cameras, which barely get used.  I have some expensive clothing that I never wear, like a suede jacket, designer jeans, Italian tailored shirts, etc.  Also, I will be inheriting my work computer soon and her laptop basically does not get used.  Instead of donating these items, it’s worth the time to list them on eBay or Craigslist.  It will take some time to identify these items, take flattering pictures, list them on eBay, ship them to buyers, etc.

Those are the initial plans to declutter.  It will feel good to have all of this done!

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