Downsizing

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I’m going to be living in a tent without closets or corners…I need to get rid of some stuff.

I recently read about a man who decided to live with only 100 items. He went through all of his possessions, deemed which were the most useful, and got rid of the rest. I find this idea equally refreshing and terrifying. Although I strongly dislike the consumer-driven society that I live and participate in, I find it difficult to stop consuming. I have a strong desire, however, to live very minimally and clutter-free next year in the yurt. In order to fit ourselves and our belongings comfortably into a 24′ yurt, we have to downsize considerably.

The difficulty is that we do not want to get rid of something only to purchase it again in a year or two. It seems counterproductive to fight consumerism with consumerism, so we are struggling to somehow live minimally without developing the “throw it out now, buy it again later” attitude.

We won’t have electricity in the yurt and will need to entertain ourselves; books, music, art, and tools will be important. Clothing will also be quite important, as our little abode will probably be a bit chilly. Unfortunately, it is glaringly obvious that I own too many books, too many art supplies, and too much clothing. I have, therefore, resolved to donate books that I am embarrassed to have on my shelf, art supplies that haven’t been used in a year, and clothing that makes me feel podgy.

In an effort to keep myself accountable, I will continue to keep you posted about my newfound flirtation with minimalism. To get started, here is my list of belongings that [I think] belong in the yurt:

  •  books
  •  furniture and bedding
  •  art supplies
  •  musical instruments
  •  tools
  • paintings and photographs
  • cookware
  • a smart* amount of clothing

*open to interpretation

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4 responses »

  1. Pingback: Simplify 6: Practice Minimalism | Further Down the Road

  2. Maybe your Mother should try downsizing some as well! I have got rid of a few things, most have been donated….but could undoubtedly donate more. So, I will downsize, but not sure it will be to have only 100 items, but maybe I can start by giving away 100 things.

    Thanks for your thoughts and for your blog! Happy downsizing. Love you. xo

  3. I remember reading that blog about the man living with 100 things. I was impressed, inspired…and rather dubious that I would ever achieve that kind of simplicity. Last year I did live with only six pieces of clothing for thirty days – another blog-inspired challenge. (Don’t worry, I got to change my underwear 🙂 )
    I like your insight about giving things away only to replace them a year or two down the road…a balance is certainly needed!!
    Facing a probable cross-country move in the next 8 months (yup, heading out West eventually!!), I’ve already started looking around at my tiny apartment that is somehow full of things. I’m trying to differentiate between what is a “belonging” and what is just “stuff” to me. It helps me to clarify what is worth keeping and what I’m just holding on to because I have it.

    I look forward to hearing more about this quest to pare down, and I join you in your desire for the simplicity that makes room for real living!!

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