It's been two years this month since we packed up our old life, from the first home we owned, put everything into storage and took off in our little caravan in search of new beginnings. I vividly remember packing those boxes, filled with grief, with burden and frustration. How did I let my possessions overwhelm me? How did I lose my way and forget what was really important. The weight of our stuff was stifling and as we scrabbled to throw the last boxes onto the truck, I remember thinking I'd be happy never to see any of it again.
Two years and three moves later, life is lighter, easier and so much happier. It's taken a complete paradigm shift and a conscious decision to do things differently and bit by bit we've begun to change the way we see our possessions.
Getting started was fun and so liberating, but as we got done past the paper back novels and extra (and by that I mean way too much) crockery, things started to get tricky. Nostalgia begins to kick in, family heirlooms are not so easy to let go of and my sentimental nature sometimes get the better of me. Day by day though, I'm learning, that moments are collected and kept precious in the soul, not in useless day to day objects.
Sticking to our living with less mantra has been a fascinating and at times challenging experience. The whole process is raising big ideas, posing important ethical and environmental questions and teaching me so many big lessons, most poignantly, that I am 'not the sum of my possessions', as Erin so beautifully put it in her recent blog post.
So week by week we try to tread a bit more lightly, choose a bit more carefully and most importantly make the decision to say no to more stuff. The dining chairs can be mended, the vacuum cleaner really is ok and although a new yoga mat would be lovely, the one I have is perfectly imperfect.
We are by no means total minimalists and I'm not sure we ever will be. We still have boxes in the garage that need sorting and wardrobes that are ready for another clean out, but we are getting there and it's that weekly process that continues to inspire our new lighter way of living.
PS. There are plenty of wonderful resources to create a happy, minimalist life. One I've found really inspiring is The Minimalists. They post great daily links on Facebook and have so much useful information on their website. I'd love to hear about any resources you've found inspiring too.