On Minimalism

For me, minimalism is not about having too much or too little but just the right number/amount. We have a good-sized library of kids’ books (reading on Kindle isn’t the same), board games, puzzles, art supplies, LEGOs—all of which we use. We hardly have anything we don’t use, and when we come across it, we toss it or, if it can be donated, we donate it. I have tons of glass jars from instant coffee, baby food (see my glass menagerie of kept jars?), and so forth, which I use to organize. We do lots of reusing and recycling, and our house is pretty tidy for having two kids. We saved almost everything from Baby #1 so that we didn’t have to buy near as much for Baby #2—about seven years’ worth of clothes. Minimalism is not about having a sterile, generic-looking house but about not having a bunch of clutter or junk you don’t use. This year, I’ve been channeling my inner Buddy the Elf and paper crafting whenever and wherever I can. I’ve noticed that pages on minimalism consider experiences better than things. However, missing from that rationale is that the experiences of reading a book, playing a game, doing a jigsaw puzzle, painting a picture, and building a LEGO creation include using things. You can spend thousands of dollars on a Disney vacation (experience) that lasts a few days or a hundred dollars on a handful of board games (things) that will give you many more hours of enjoyment. And the memories made in Disney World (speaking from personal experience) are not as sharp or wonderful as the thousands more made elsewhere—in the everyday.

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