They do say time flies when you're having fun! I hope that you have been enjoying the longer days of sunshine and making some time for self-care. As you may (or may not!) have noticed, my self-care has continued to involve limiting my screen time, opting instead for other ways to pass my time. What have I been doing you ask?
Well... the past month I have really embraced the concept of minimizing. There is a lot of information out there on the idea, but if you're new to it, I like the elevator pitch from the Minamalists: "Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution." No one size fits all recipe, no requirement to give up anything you love or need, but the invitation to examine what takes up space.
Although recently I have really been on a purge, the concept of minimizing is not new to me. I credit my mother for dutifully having me cleanse my closet at the end of each summer, employing my sister to help remove any items no longer serving me. With kids, this is a must, as they outgrow everything. Since our son's birth we have been grateful to join a stream of hand me downs and continue passing items along to other families, with things culled that are no longer use-worthy, and new pieces added in.
Yet, while I was clearing out his goods, I hadn't really noticed how much mine had started to accumulate... and I'm not even an avid shopper! I am thankful that many people graciously give to me, and, I've realized, I keep a lot. I didn't start out last month thinking I would minimize, it began with a need for physical space. As I made room for my son's new desk, I got rid of a few boxes of books I was done with. Then I re-homed some household items we no longer use to a friend. This sparked my own little 'aha' moment, realizing that I can keep inside of me the memories, or intention of material possessions, but do not have to keep the physical item itself (like the inspirational book my parents gave me in high school and I don't read... book is gone, but their belief in me gets to stay.) By this point, I was on a roll and it felt good to make space. So, I hit my closet and gathered two large bag fulls to donate. This week, I've been moving out furniture items in our basement (that we thought may come in handy some day), opening up room for family to move in.
Along the way, I have been sharing with kidlet how less stuff means less organizing and cleaning of that stuff, and more time to do other things! Plus, together, we have had the chance to help our community - donating to charities, giving away to friends and family, and taking car loads to the Re-Use Centre. While we were at it, we even had Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton come by to our yard and salvage choke cherries and rhubarb that otherwise would have gone to waste!
Interestingly, all of this minimizing of 'stuff' has made me realize that my take on social media, technology and wellness is that we can benefit from minimizing in that department too. I've never advocated for a no use policy, but rather that our use be intentional. Like this blog post, my newsletter, and throwing something up on social media when it is a fit. Or, as it were, using a Facebook group to find people who wanted items I no longer needed!
There are many things I do need, and do love, and I have kept them. However, there was also a lot of excess and it continues to feel good to move that out. As I make space physically, I am also enjoying the emotional impact. I feel less weighed down and more free.
Are you ready to make space?
PS - heads up, I will be out of the office the week of August 27.