And the last of the lessons learned when Dawn decided to simplify her life:
I had also been hanging on to a lot of books and notebooks filled to the brim from my graduate days in our basement even though I was no longer interested in continuing to pursue my Ph.D. or teaching. In looking through the notebooks and papers I had written, I remembered all the good times I had enjoyed while working on my degree. I had already put the bad times behind me and had chosen to forgive so getting rid of this stuff was the final thing I needed to do to let go. I kept my thesis work and a few writing samples and that was it. Upstairs, I kept sheet music, poetry I wrote, an art journal, Christian literature, my art books and a few special books from my childhood that I will pass on to our son, Hayden. Every book I own is now in one, medium-sized, clear, plastic storage container in our laundry/computer room. Since I seldom use even these books it felt right to put the bookshelf down in storage for our son, as he gets a bit older.
Our place looks so much better without all that surface-area clutter and requires much less dusting! I am putting together two 12 photo collages (one for pictures of my son, and one for family and friends) to go on the walls of the living and dining rooms and one 3 photo collage of our favorite wedding photos. This will greatly simplify the rooms and visual space. I am also looking forward to be able to look at all the people that truly enhance my life without needing to search through a lot of clutter.
Living simply for me also means not over committing my time, energy and money. I chose not to re-join a community choir because the rehearsal time is very inconvenient and I would rather spend that time with my family. Since I am fortunate to have the material things I need, I avoid shopping, especially looking at certain “trigger” sites online (something I used to really enjoy doing). That has been a hard thing for me to change but it saves money for our family and creates more time, which is better spent elsewhere.
Through my efforts to de-clutter and simplify, my husband was inspired to help me by pulling my stuff out of storage so I could go through it. As the chef of the house, he also went through all the kitchen gadgets and utensils. He even agreed with me to go paperless, as much as possible, with our files. My mom was inspired to go through her dreaded hall closet getting rid of many, many things. Although my husband still feels that there is no way that he would ever want to live in a tiny house, my decision and efforts to simplify have made a lot of progress for all of us.
So… you can live tinier and simplify your life without living in a tiny house. You don’t need to have everyone on board with you to make real progress both with your living space, your perspective, and your own personal growth. Your process will not look the same as mine as the journey you experience will be uniquely yours, and entirely worth it! Take care and live tinier. -Dawn Zimmerman
With thanks to www.TinyHouseBuild.com