We recently moved to a new house. The old house, where we primarily raised the kids, was an older home, built in 1983. It was a solidly built all brick house with seven old growth Live Oaks on the half acre it sat on. (For those of you who don’t know, Live Oaks are the large oak trees that grow in the south, frequently seen with Spanish Moss hanging from the branches.) We had a very long driveway that lead to an oversized side entry garage. I had extended the driveway through a double privacy gate to a large slab in the back yard that over the years held campers, boats, project cars etc…
I had seven of these, several over 300 years old according to an arborist who looked at them.
The house wasn’t overly huge, but we had it cluttered with decorations, antiques, deer heads, gun cabinets, mounted fish, bar décor. It was cool to look at, and gave guests plenty of topics to discuss “I remember those…” But, we found it a little stressful. There was too much going on. We were far from hoarders, it was actually tastefully done and got regular compliments. It was just too much for us in the end. We had a bad case of “stuffitis.”
We didn’t go this far with the minimalist look…
When we decided to move, we also made the decision to go minimalist with the décor. Thus was a huge, time consuming and painful undertaking. Getting rid of years of memories and collections was difficult. It literally took about two months of working to get rid of it all. In hindsight, it was the best decision we ever made.
The new home, although about the same square footage, and two story, looks huge compared to the old one floor ranch style home. We have very minimal decorations. We only kept a very few of the favorites to display. We have sparse, simple decorations and I feel my stress level has reduced tremendously. There is beauty in simplicity.
We also thinned out the kitchen cabinets, getting rid of duplicate items and things we rarely used. Less stuff, less stress. I’ve often heard this, but never really believed it until now.
My wife loves the decluttered kitchen
I watched a documentary on Netflix about two guys who wrote a book on minimalist living, and now follow a few blogs about minimalism. I find useful information on them, but you have to weed through the beta fluff sometimes. All in all, I find the tips and ideas worth the work.
I know it sounds difficult, and it may not be for everyone, but if you are at all inclined to explore the idea of decluttering your life I highly suggest it. As you go through your “most treasured belongings” take a minute and think about why are keeping it. You may realize it’s not all that important after all.
In future posts I may delve further into how to go about simplifying your life.
By the way, the Live Oaks survived both Hurricane Matthew last October and Irma earlier this month…Tough old birds.
Just because I can…