Nearly a year ago, we left our small home in the woods in Kokomo, MS for a much larger house a few miles away at the edge of the city limits of Columbia. To me, this place has it all – 5 acres of land, water, sewer (we had a well and sceptic tank before), way better internet, and very close proximity to stores and restaurants. I can even ride my bike to the grocery store since it is less than 1.5 miles away. It may seem ironic that a striving minimalist would buy such a place, but I am not the only one who lives in my home. However, I am the only one striving for minimalism. My new home makes me feel more civilized and at-home than my old place did. No longer do I feel out of place. To me, this place really does have it all.
One of the initial things that attracted me to my new home was the presence of a well built, decent-sized shop, complete with electric and lights positioned just to the left of the house near the driveway. This was to be my space. My plan was to finish it out on the inside to create a proper interior space. This was going to be where I put my drums, all my Star Trek knick-kncaks, books, games, computers, and other things. A year later, and I still haven’t done anything to the space. It is full of junk.
The overwhelming majority of the space is currently occupied by boxes no one has opened in a year. While I was playing the 30 day minimalism game, I frequently visited the boxes containing my stuff looking for things to let go of. I’d venture to say if everything in that shop evaporated, no once would notice. As I have journeyed down the perpetual road toward minimalism, I have been simultaneously annoyed by the fact we have all this junk that’s just taking up space, the fact that I haven’t been able to create my own space there as I had planned. However, something has changed recently. I have learned to let go.
I don’t personally own a lot of items anymore. I am trying to give away my old drums, my new, nice drums reside at my band mate’s house, and my electric drums fit neatly in the corner of our massive bedroom. I’m selling my antique Macintosh computers, and have tossed most of my old computer parts. I’m letting go of anything that could be considered a tchotchke. As it happens, I don’t need my own space anymore. Plus, if I’m being honest, it would end up being a place to escape from my family, which is the opposite of what I hope to accomplish through minimalism.
Our new home also came with a greenhouse in which my wife was planning to convert half of the space into a workshop for her home projects. Just this past weekend, she was about to have me measure again to see what materials she would need for the conversion. Before I began measuring, I told Theresa that I really didn’t need the shop anymore, and that if we can minimize the items in there, she can have it for a workshop, a use for which it is already perfectly suited. She then told me there was now no need to measure the greenhouse.
Because I have decided to live more intentionally with less, we both win. We both get what we want or need. I wonder what things would be like in our home if we all owned less. Even better, what would our lives be like if we wanted less?