Thursday, November 15, 2012


Overflowing trash pile after purging the basement

I started reading the book, You Can Buy Happiness (And It's Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too by Tammy Strobel.  Hubby saw the book sitting on the counter and after reading the title, gave me a look and asked, "Another one???"  Apparently I read too many books on simplifying for his taste.

The book is about the author's journey from living a life of excess--the 2000 sqft apartment, two cars, major debt, all the latest stuff--to her and her husband getting rid of their cars, almost all of their stuff and building a tiny house on wheels (8 ft x 16 ft with a sleeping loft above).

Van load ready for Goodwill

Over breakfast this morning, Lizzy saw the book on the table and asked me what it meant that you can buy happiness for cheap.  I explained the premise of the book, about downsizing, how they moved into a house that's the size of her bedroom.  She thought that was kind of cool and asked if we were going to do that.  Um, no.  We won't be selling our house any time soon, but we can downsize the stuff that we have in our house.  We can make decisions that allow us to spend less money and save more.

While I'm not about to sell my house and move into 128 sqft of living space, the author did give me some things to think about.  Over the last year I have gone through every room, closet, shelf, freezer, and drawer in my entire house and purged.  I questioned what I should do now that I've finished that project and jokingly asked if  this is the point where you start over and do it all again???.

Linen closet purge destined for a garage sale

I can see now that I was right on track.  I pared down our belongings once and it felt good to get rid of all that stuff that we no longer had a use for.  Now it's time to go through the entire house again and get rid of even more things.  To downsize even more.

Yesterday I cleaned out my cookbooks.  I have 2.5 feet of pantry shelf space devoted to cookbooks.  I eliminated an entire foot's worth of books.  I'm debating about getting rid of even more but I'm sort of attached to the ones I have left and actually use them.  I may type up my favorite recipes out of the books where I only use a few recipes and then tossing the books.

I weeded out my craft closet and got rid of some fabric.  Gasp!  I can't believe I did it, either.  But I did have a few pieces of fabric that I've accumulated over the years that I know I will never use, so out they went.

My goal is to go through my entire house and repurge everything between now and June 2013.  One shelf, drawer, closet, cupboard and room at a time until I'm done.  Last time I got rid of maybe twenty percent of our stuff.  This time I hope to get rid of at least another twenty percent, maybe more.

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