observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Owning less is better than organizing more

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

In this world and times of up-sizing and up-selling I’m delighted to be part of the downsizing community. As you know, our recent move was specifically for the purpose of downsizing both in yard space and home size. It has been a breath of fresh air! Okay, so living without furniture (except a card table, folding chairs, and a mattress on the floor) has not been fun. But the whole concept of selling practically everything has far more upsides than a person might imagine.

“Owning less is better than organizing more.” –Joshua Becker

Simply because there is nowhere to store things, we continue to be ruthless in what we keep or acquire. You know what is surprising? I don’t miss a single item that we shed in our estate sale. No, not even the lovely things that had belonged to my mom or John’s mom. Remember, I had taken photos of all those meaningful items and plan to have a photo book made from those images.

Over the years, I’ve progressively become more and more minimalist, and it feels so good. Don’t get me wrong, I still like my place to feel homey, welcoming, and comfortable but with less stuff, everything we do have has far more meaning and there’s even more appreciation for those things. I’m not so minimalist that our home looks like an empty vault (oh well, without furniture I suppose it does! … temporarily — furniture finally arrives in 2 weeks) but I’m also not an extremist.

A few years ago, I came across Joshua Becker’s website, Becoming Minimalist. He’s the author of Simplify. Even though it’s something he makes a living at, I don’t find his views or suggestions extreme. They make good sense.

I respect Becker’s explanation of minimalism, “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” That makes sense to me because I don’t see that minimalism is living in a home where your voice echoes and you feel like you’re living in a cell. It’s simply choosing to live without clutter so we can feel at ease and comfortable — a place where our minds are free to think and be creative, or to be inspired and contemplate. It’s much like the difference between trying to live in the middle of a noisy, downtown New York/Toronto/Hong Kong street or in a cozy home in a quiet residential community.

Simplicity also allows for more time gathering with friends or sharing meals

Rather than bore you with all the details of why I’m enjoying living with less, Joshua Becker outlines 21 Benefits of Owning Less, that perfectly sums up how I feel about this whole process. Invest your heart (and money) into meaningful things. What about you? Or, do any of these benefits inspire you?

As I did a couple months ago, I have a similar wish for you to bathe in the golden forest light, breathe in the waning autumn air, and exhale with a contented heart.

“I’m glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — Anne of Green Gables

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DIANE J PATMORE - October 26, 2017 - 2:39 pm

I am coming around to the same thinking.But, man oh! man!!!!It is not easy. Two clutterbugs in a house with insufficient storage room…
But clutter is like white noise, I think.It’s everywhere in background and in sharp focus, distracting us.
Yes, white noise.Thats just what it’s like.
Off to dump some more junk in the bin…

Lyd - October 27, 2017 - 1:37 pm

Yes I agree Diane. We became minimalists when we retired in June 2009 and don’t miss the “stuff” at all ๐Ÿ™‚ Always have been a gypsy at heart ๐Ÿ™‚ Travelling is the best for us!

stephanie o young - October 28, 2017 - 6:07 am

we downsized in 1997….shed half of our possessions and moved into a one bedroom cottage. best thing we ever did. but…….!!!! (eep) over the years, ‘things’ have crept back in to our space. it’s time to do some serious shedding….because i’m doing exactly what Joshua (don’t your LOVE him??) says….spending time organizing rather than simply owning and enjoying. Thanks again….for the beautiful photographs…and the incentive to buckle down and purge!!!

Lisa Gordon - October 28, 2017 - 12:08 pm

I definitely agree, Diane!
I learned this as you did when we moved to a smaller house.
I think I still have a bit too much, but I’m working on it!
Have a wonderful weekend.

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