“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as one, two, three and to a hundred or a thousand. We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.” – Henry David Thoreau
Happy Minimalist Monday, everyone! Ready or not, it two days before the New Year and the garage awaits my attention. I am excited to move forward with this project. De-cluttering is a perfect project to begin at the New Year as well as an important step in simplifying life and becoming more of a Minimalist. As you may know from my previous Minimalist Monday posts, much of what you are seeing here in the garage is stuff that belonged to my mom. I wasn’t sure what to do with it and since I need a sense of order to function on a daily basis, it all ended up out here. I know I cannot hope to become more of a minimalist with my black holes lurking out of sight. Therefore, 2014 is the year I start clearing the unseen clutter in my home and in my mind. I have to confess that I felt so vulnerable posting the before pics of my garage I felt the need to post other pics of my front room entry so that can see how I actually live within the walls of my house.
Garages are interesting things. As I walk through my neighborhood I get glimpses of many of my neighbor’s garages. Some are so clean and organized you could eat off the floor. Other neighbors have turned their garages into extended living and entertaining areas so that when I walk by I see people sitting in their garages listening to music and drinking beers. (I do not live in a neighborhood that has strict covenants. I prefer to call it a “free to be me” neighborhood.) Some garages serve as practical work areas with visible projects in various stages of development. Most of the garages I see, however, are in some state of disarray. Many are filled to the brim with so much stuff I am not really sure if you can actually enter them, while others are just cluttered and dingy. My garage is a cross between the overstuffed and dingy. I firmly believe garages, along with other easily hidden places such as closets, basements, and spare bedrooms, are a reflection of our state of mind; at least that has been my observation. Others may disagree. I do not have the resources at this time to hang drywall, paint the floor, or add cool storage cabinets so I am going for a clean and practical garage. The garage will be used for storage of seasonal garden/yard supplies and a few select holiday decorations that have great personal meaning to me. I may need to hold on to a few items for my nieces until they are able to claim them. Everything else needs to go.
My Plan for January: A Load a Week!
That is to say, every Saturday during the month of January I am taking one car load of stuff to a nearby charity. This is an easy place for me to begin because I actually have several piles of things in my garage that I moved out of the house to go to charity as well as other items in the garage I know I can easily say goodbye to. Going through the easy stuff first should build my confidence and help keep me motivated when I have to start making harder decisions about things from my childhood or my mom’s knick knacks.
If you are planning to join me on your own de-cluttering project, my tip for the week is start small. One closet, one room, one corner of the house; that is all you need to focus on at a time. There is no reason to overwhelm yourself with a project. Of course, if you are motivated to tackle everything all at once, go for it! Otherwise, slow and steady will produce amazing results in your home.
I hope you join me in 2014 on a journey to free your home and mind from the clutter that ties us all down. If you have any de- cluttering projects in mind to start the year off right, I would love to hear from you!
Until next time,