Minimizing

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

A couple weeks ago, my friend turned me on to this blog about a girl who is living out of one bag and enjoying remote work while essentially being “homeless”.  Ever since then I’ve been able to think about nothing else.

I’ve always fantasized about being homeless.  People look at me funny when I say that, but I don’t mean living outside and roughing it.  I mean not being tethered to any one place, which means no rent, no mortgage, no maintenance, no cleaning, no utility bills, etc.

However, it’s out of the question for me right now and probably for a long time.  I have two cats who obviously cannot be nomads with me, although I could probably fit them both unhappily into a backpack.  But the reality is that I can’t go anywhere until they’re no longer around.  And that’s OK for now.

But in the meantime, my mindset has shifted a bit.  I’m thinking in terms of preparing to someday become homeless.

I’ve always embraced the minimalist movement although I, myself, still have quite a bit of work to do in that area.  I’m definitely in a much better place today than I was five years ago.  After a messy break-up I sold, donated or otherwise got rid of 80% of my belongings, mostly because I was tired of schlepping boxes and boxes of “stuff” back and forth while I tried to find a new housing situation.  It was such a liberating feeling and I like to think of it as a reward for enduring years and years in a bad relationship.

I consider myself lucky to have been born without the shopping gene, because I don’t care much for things like shoes, clothes and beauty products.  (Don’t ask me about cat toys and craft supplies, though…)  But I also don’t enjoy wasting things, which makes it difficult to get rid of things that I may find useful in the future.  For example, I haven’t crocheted or knitted anything in years, but I still have a very large box of yarn, polyfill stuffing and a spectrum of crochet hooks and knitting needles.  I’m not sure how much time has to pass before I get rid of all that.

But there are other things that I have less attachment to that I can be minimizing.  This past weekend I donated all of my glassware and mugs and replaced them with a handful of mason jars.  I love mason jars because they’re multipurpose.  I can drink both water and coffee out of them, plus I can use them as food storage.

I also donated most of my cat food dishes, because I realized that if I just stop being lazy, I can use the same two dishes every day after washing them.  I also let go of my one-purpose kitchen gadgets like my spirooli slicer and mandoline slicer, and culled all duplicates of things like spatulas and casserole dishes.  And suddenly I have way more kitchen cabinet space.

I think the next things to go with be half of my plates and bowls (which I’m proud to say I found sitting outside a dumpster in perfect condition), and then it’s time to face the hard truth about my wardrobe.  I don’t have a lot of clothes that are currently in rotation, but I have a big box of clothes that I hope to fit into someday.  Time to embrace the present while also realizing that I can afford to buy new clothes if and when I actually lose weight.

I get so incredibly stressed out when I sit down at my home office desk and there’s clutter everywhere.  It makes it difficult to find things and puts me in a negative state of mind when I’m supposed to be working.  I’m really excited to slowly work towards becoming an actual minimalist, which will leave me better equipped to take off with one backpack when the day comes.

Stay tuned for my recap of 2018, along with some overly-ambitious resolutions for the new year.

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