Minimizing (Without Becoming a Minimalist)

We live in a 1,000 square foot house.  While this is by no means a one bedroom apartment, or a home with no storage, or a shack in the woods, it’s on the small side.  According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the average home size was 2330 sqaure feet in 2004.  Even by 1970’s standards, when the average square footage was 1400 square feet, we have a small home.

About two years ago, before my husband moved in, my house was full to the brimble.  I had no storage left.  The basement shelves were full, the garage lined with boxes, the closets bursting.  When Paul (and all of his stuff) moved in, I revamped my ideas of storage.  Instead of cramming items into every possible nook and cranny, we got organized.  Rubbermaid bins, storage ottomans, wicker baskets, grouping like items.  We arranged in a way that allowed us to keep the majority of both of our items.  Success, right?

Well, I suppose it depends on how you define success.

I was trying to find a few books for my classroom that I knew I had a copy of.  Copies of, actually.  I hauled out four large boxes of books, sifted through them, and didn’t find what I was looking for.  Then I realized I had four more boxes in the basement, also packed with books, that I hadn’t touched yet.  At that point I decided I’d rather just check out the books from the library.

Which leads me to the question… is it worth owning and storing something if you can’t find it, don’t use it, or don’t remember you have it?

Books are one of our biggest storage problems, but it goes beyond that.  Food, kitchen supplies, electronics, decorations, photos… it all just ends up sitting because it’s too much of a hassle to retreive.

I know I won’t end up becoming a minimalist.  I don’t have it in me.  I do think it would do me some good, however, to embrace the theory behind it a bit.

On my reading list, then?

I’ll keep updating as I read these (and hopefully internalize their messages).  This is mostly for my own good – I’ve got to be held accountable somehow – but hopefully you’ll reap some benefits as well.

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One response to “Minimizing (Without Becoming a Minimalist)

  1. Hi Kate, completely agree with you about questioning the point of owning something if we never use or find it. While I’m not a minimalist per se, I do enjoy keeping only that which is useful or valuable. Ypu have a great selection of reading material (ahem! and thank you!) and I’m looking forward to sharing your journey.

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