making space

A subject of much frustration to me is the state of my home.

As I have mentioned before I live in a one room “apartment” above my parents 2 stall garage. If you can imagine how large the second floor of a garage might be and then cancel some of that space out with a sloped ceiling over half of that space, that is the amount of space our family of four has to reside in. Granted, we share space with my parents during the day, and spend time outside. But all of our possessions are either crammed in a small space with us (kitchen/dining, bathroom, and bedroom complete with beds and dressers) or in a store shed in the yard.

Currently construction is making its way to completion, when finished will give our family 2 actual bedrooms which makes me super super happy. No more having to leave the house as soon as bedtime comes around so we don’t keep the kids awake!

In the meantime though, I am faced with making space where none exists. This means when friends give us gifts, or pass things on to us (ever so sweet and kind of them) that is another item desperately desperately searching for a home. In fact, half of the girls’ toys hang out at my parents’ because we simply cannot fit them in our home. This means finding creative places to store our food. This means entertaining friends outside or at my parents’ house, or not entertaining friends at all.

Most of my recent studies on dominion and stewardship have only made my desire for space all the more fierce! I don’t have control over where I live, so I should practice control and responsibility over what I live in or among. In some ways this is much easier than I expected and I find myself wondering why I haven’t purged my possessions before! In other ways I find it so hard. Though I have so much more space than I did just last week, I still look around and think to myself, “Why do I still have so much stuff?!

Stuff.

I don’t want to have stuff.

I want the things I own to reflect Joe and me, our family, and our values. The things we own should have a purpose and not just be really cute/awesome clutter.

I even gave away yarn. I threw away pens. I have 3-4 trash bags of clothing and toys to give to charity. I recycled empty cardboard boxes and gift bags.

Then I had a yard sale.

I was so proud of myself. I had filled the truck  we are trying to sell full full full of items I deemed worthy to sell. Then finally I thought I was ready to have a huge yard sale. I was super bummed out when my items only filled 2 tables. In my defense I didn’t have any large furniture items to sell, but it doesn’t really draw a huge crowd when you don’t look like you’ve got a whole lot to get rid of.

I know I must have more to get rid of! Why can’t I seem to figure out what it is instead of letting it be there suffocating me!?

Are you a minimalist? How do you recognize the things you want out of your life?

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5 thoughts on “making space

  1. I can relate to this post completely! Imagine owning a house for 13 years and the amount of stuff you can accumulate! I am in a purging frenzy as we are selling our house and moving!! I will not relocate my clutter and usueless or insignificant stuff. We are in the process of moving to NH in November so as to be totally settled before baby #3 is due in December. We will be moving in to a smaller space most likely. With the pressure to move, it’s clean out time!! We had a yard sale today andit physically feels uplifting to be rid of stuff!

  2. We constantly purge and yet still have an entire housefull!! But I am DETERMINED that our next move will NOT be over weight!! I have the girls fill a bag a week of trash and give away. They are awful hoarders!! 😛

  3. I am a minimalist, but my husband is not, so we still have closets full of stuff that drive me nuts. I’m not sentimental at all towards materials, and this is likely because we moved so much when I was a kid, and things got lost in every move somehow to the point where I have only maintained one solitary item from my childhood – an old ceramic, cracked and chipped bank in the shape of Garfield. I have no idea why or how it is the only thing I have, and I almost donated it this year but grabbed it out at the last second, just because I felt like I “should.” I really have no warm or fuzzy feelings towards it.

    Gifts really can be an issue for me. I don’t want to hurt feelings, but I get rid of gifted items regularly. The best gifts for me are those that can be consumed or experienced.

    Good luck in your minimalism journey. I feel strongly that clearing your physical space also clears your mental and emotional space. At least it does for me.

    • Jesse, how do you keep yourself from re-gifting or giving away gifts? btw, hubby is way more sentimental over things than i am. I just start looking around and freak out one day.

      I agree. I am finding that my mind and emotions seem to be just as cluttered as the outside space around me!

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