No, I am not a minimalist. However, the older I get the more I understand why older people don’t want stuff for Christmas or birthdays or things like that. Over the past few years I have watched and read so many videos and articles on minimalism, as well as about hoarders. I find both fascinating, and again, the older I get the more I tend to lean toward minimalism. Recently I heard someone on YouTube say something I found interesting. Not a direct quote I don’t believe, but something to the effect of “how much stuff do you want to manage?” And I have thought a lot about the stuff in my house I am managing, that is taking up space. Is it all necessary and do I want to manage it?
I have been working though paperwork for my mother-in-laws estate and haven’t even touched her house yet because I don’t really want to go through all her stuff. Not because of sentimental reasons, but because of the items she enjoyed collecting, like pitchers. She has probably 40 or more pitchers she used fairly regularly throughout the year during meals for juice or water. Many are fun, some are elegant, quite a few are season or holiday oriented, but there are so many! She has them well displayed, and she kept her home very tidy and clean, so they aren’t in the way at all, there’s just a lot of them, and it makes me think more and more about what I will be leaving behind, and is it really important to begin with since we can’t take it with us. By the way, she really enjoyed decorating her table for every seasons and holiday, and that was a great reason for her to collect them. I am not at all saying we can’t collect things we love, because they do bring us joy, it’s just what do we do with it all now.
This takes me to the moments thought. Over the years I have thought it might be fun to give gifts of memories, like a trip to somewhere in Alaska, or a bigger trip to somewhere else, or maybe a fishing trip or train ride or something like that, something that doesn’t require more items brought into my house (unless it’s fish, and then I’ll allow it). This year I really talked about it with a couple of my kids. I get mixed results back from the kids, some like the stuff, but others think the memories would be a great gift. My husband has mixed reactions as well, which I think is funny. He buys his own presents and then I just wrap them for him, so what difference does it make, he is still going to buy it, whether it’s Christmas or not.
This year for Christmas I got very little in the way of presents, presents from my side of the family (parents and siblings), but with everything going on, my husband (who doesn’t shop until Dec. 23 at the earliest) didn’t have time to shop for me, understandably because he was taking care of his mom. He kind of felt bad that there wasn’t much for me and promised to make it up later, but in all reality, I was relieved I didn’t have to find a place to put stuff away. It made after Christmas much less stressful for me. I am like my husband in that when I need something I usually buy it, except bigger items that I save for him to buy at Christmas. Maybe I’ll have to go buy a couple of things, but it’s not a big deal.
Last year I kind of started, but I think this spring I will be making a much bigger effort to clean out and get rid of stuff. Things that are just taking up space, that I have to manage. I am really excited actually, because as I have started doing this already in a few small areas, I look at those areas and it just feels lighter, less stressful. There was a hutch that I cleaned out on a YouTube tutorial you can see here, and every time I walk past this area in my home now, it is such a nice, beautiful, clean spot. Now, before you get thinking I live in a hoarders home, I don’t. My home is clean, but there are areas that just feel cluttered to me, that are cluttered and I am realizing the past few years that this creates stress inside me. So, since this is the beginning of 2023, that will be one of the things I work on throughout this coming year, decluttering, minimizing, and consequently feeling less stressed. Also, even though I got mixed feelings from my family, at least for me, I want more memories and less stuff this year.