Exploring the world one word…and one mile…at a time

Spring Cleaning

It’s possible—strike that…it’s a fact—that being home is more frenzied than being on the road.  In the two weeks since we returned from Key West, we’ve had zero plans on exactly one day—and that one day was spent sorting through the contents of our kitchen cabinets.  In that same period of time, we’ve managed to put up just four blog posts.  Not because we haven’t had much to say, but because we’ve been distracted and exhausted.  So what’s been keeping us so busy?  Where to begin?  We’ve gone under agreement to sell our house, celebrated holidays and family birthdays, run a half marathon, babysat for my niece, gone to concerts, hung out with friends from near and far, played charity trivia, and found a new place to live.  The new place won’t be ready until July, so we’ve also been working out arrangements for two months of temporary living…which for us will be a combination of campgrounds, friends’ homes, and an occasional hotel.  Whatever isn’t going in our car for those two months is going in storage, so we’re spending a fair amount of time sorting through things and being tough about what we really need on a daily basis.  And if things don’t make that cut, we’re deciding whether they have a place in our lives at all.  It’s a good exercise to go through, and our test trip a few weeks ago helped clarify our requirements.  This time, we’ll be wandering for six additional weeks, but our gear requirements won’t be much different.  It’s easy to live simply when you’re simply living.  Although the simplification process might seem minimalist, we’re actually taking our own maximalist approach to life these days…in other words, attempting to maximize the utility and value and enjoyment from each object we retain.  That doesn’t always mean the smallest or cheapest items; on the contrary, it often means trading quality for quantity.  It also means being very thoughtful at the point of consumption (i.e., time of purchase) to ensure any new items won’t end up in a donation pile the next time we move.  It’s rather depressing to sort items for a garage sale and realize how many things should have never entered our lives in the first place…how many dishes or vases or electronics or souvenirs should have never been purchased.  And it’s not just the wasted money that’s depressing.  It’s the wasted materials and resources along the way.  No one needs those things, and certainly not that many things.  More often than not, things won’t make you happy.  They’ll suffocate you and depress you and clog your closets and drain your bank accounts.  If you haven’t already done so, stop watching commercials on TV, stop looking through catalogs, and stop buying things you don’t need.  You’ll be happier and better off for it, and you’ll have fewer things to sort through next time you move. -J

One response

  1. Ariana

    Yup! (Using words sparingly. Word minimalism.) LIKE!

    April 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

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