18 May 2011

Five Things I Won't Give Up for Minimalism

Inspired by Julie Rains on Wise Bread and Fabulously Broke in the City's "Ten Things I Won't Give Up to Save Money"... here are five things I won't give up to go Minimalist:

1. My Skinny Jeans. I have one pair of jeans that are the perfect color, the perfect length, the perfect cut... just not the perfect size (anymore). Although I have outgrown them, I cling to the hope that one day, my thighs will shrivel up. Probably not this week though since I just chased my spinach salad with a handful of nacho chips and a chocolate chip cookie.
Hope for tomorrow

2. Books. I'm committed to slimming down my library, but something about books - the smell, the texture, the promise of wisdom, I don't know, just something - makes a house feel more like a home. My Inspired Reading page catalogs the ones I've deemed most worthy of sticking around for this season of life.
The Promise of Wisdom

3. Kids' stuff. My journey is just that. It's my journey. As a family, we try to keep a handle on the sheer volume, but kids need to play. I won't deprive Tiny & the Tot of toys, games, board books, and art supplies until it all becomes overwhelming to them. Meanwhile, I'll be in the corner sobbing if I have to sort the balls from the dolls one more time today. When did I become OCD about anything, let alone toys!?!?
Organized for now, Minimalized later.

4. Heirlooms. I've gone from hoarding every item that ever belonged to my grandmother to treasuring a few that remind me the most of who she was. I have her barely-bound Bible, her tiny gold ring, and two sets of her best dishes. My girls will likely trash the Bible and bury me with the ring, but the dishes will serve their children and grandchildren for years to come.
Every Bible should be so well loved

5. Junky old furniture. When we reduced our clothing inventory, our dressers and armoire moved to the donate/sell/give away section of the garage. The rest of our furniture got repurposed. Instead of a trampoline, we have an old futon. The inherited swivel rocker serves as a playroom climber and a ratty Craigslist rug makes for a softer landing on the basement floor.
The futon trampoline / snack trap

I debated on adding a #6. My sewing machine, fabric, and card-making supplies currently occupy the closet of shame under the stairs. That's my "decide later" pile. Will they make the next "Five Things I Won't Give Up for Minimalism" list or will they be on a future "25 Things I Traded for Open Spaces" post? I don't know yet. My artsy Tot appreciates scissors and glue sticks, but I'm praying she will prefer a open, spacious reading nook filled with the promise of wisdom.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:
Five Essentials For a Minimalist Mama


  1. We have the same list- except the jeans:) Love it!

  2. Those jeans taunt me. I need to just find another pair of favorite jeans.

  3. I get what you say about keeping all of grandma's stuff... for over 20 years I kept 4 boxes of horse figurines of my aunt. They were from the 50s. She even kept a journal with each of their names (she died single).

    Two weeks ago I basically gave them all away at a yard sale. It felt good to make someone else's day... and I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I didn't need her horse figurines to keep her memory alive.

    You said it perfectly.


    P.S. had fun meeting you during the twitter party today!


  4. Its so hard to let things go, but one trip to an estate sale could seal the deal. I've been to sales where people have "treasured" broken dishes just because they hand been handed down through the family. In this case, one man's treasure is another man's trash!

    My husband said he might "sub" for me on my weekend job. I'm not sure how well that'll go over, but if I can pull it off, I'll see you at the AWBC!

  5. TOYS: I became OCD about the toys early on when we began getting toy gifts that had lots of parts. Legos, Construx, stacking toys, play picnic sets, ABC blocks... I mean what good are they if some of the peices/parts are missing. We picked up and sorted toys almost EVERY DAY before bedtime. When my kids grew up (and moved out) I kept a collection of theirs and my favorites toys. My grandchildren now play with those toys.
    BOOKS? No computer will ever replace the written word. Not ever. That's why we still have PAPER newspapers all over America. And have you ever noticed how decorative bookshelves are with books on them? And it's so easy to decorate. Just place the book anywhere on the shelf. For OCDers, hardbacks and paperbacks are stored separately as well as by size. :-)

    1. My husband and I are book junkies...we used to go to the book store on dates and we never left without buying at least 2 books, but after moving about 20 HEAVY boxes of books 12 times in the last 14 years, they have lost their appeal, and we are paring down the non-essentials (obviously keeping the sentimental ones, the ones that are irreplaceable or the ones that are just, down-right, too expensive to buy again). We are LOVING our kindles. And if we ever feel the need to hold a physical book, we both have library cards.