Jan 07

The Joy of Less

Becoming minimalist is a journey, I am finding, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. I have bursts of activity, purging things and getting organized, followed by periods of inactivity. But at least I can say I have not been backsliding. For my book collecting, I have kept with my determination of using the library for many books, and have recently taken the plunge with an e-reader. I ordered a Kindle as my Christmas present. Okay buying electronics may not quite mesh with minimizing personal possessions, but it does factor into my goal of reducing the physical book collection. And my love of reading is not going anywhere. We did deal with both a birthday and Christmas for a four year old, however, so there was an influx of things there, but we managed to keep it reasonable for Christmas. There will be an after-Christmas purging of the child’s room, and massive reorganization soon as a result though!

While I felt I had managed to accomplish a fair amount this fall by donating books and clothes and purging furniture, I feel like I’ve hit a dry spell. Nothing has been going out lately, and the organization has been failing a little. I have been feeling like I need a kick in the pants in this matter. As one of my first Kindle book purchases, I recently downloaded “The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide” by Francine Jay. While it may seem counterintuitive to buy books on minimalism, this so far is a great read. Francine has a great way of motivating the reader, and breaking down the processing of purging, prioritizing, and organizing your possessions into manageable stages. Her suggestions are great. While it might seem like a person shouldn’t need a guide to how to organize their own house, sometimes it can be quite helpful. I know I am guilty of starting in one room and getting distracted by a section of another room, only to end up with rooms with unfinished messes.

This book has really motivated me to jump start my efforts to further pare down our household. This weekend the target will be my desk. Structurally, its an awesome desk. Its just over a year old, and in excellent condition. It has a great layout. The only problem is that it belongs to me, and I have never been able to keep a desk clear from piles of paperwork, craft stuff, electronics, cups, and other randomness. My goal this weekend is to pull everything off and out of my desk, purging paperwork and random items as needed. Then I will set up an actual system to handle incoming paperwork (besides the dreaded “pile” system). This is a great time to do this project, as tax season is just around the corner, and having papers in order is absolutely necessary this time of year. This is an added bonus though. I am just looking forward to a clear surface and everything having a place.

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