Adam and I started this year with some relatively lofty goals. As per usual, we finished our chalkboard of goals (which we’re doing excellent on, by the way. The student loan number is already shrinking-hurrah!), and then I add something along the lines of “BUT what if we also do *enter such and such crazy idea here*.” Luckily Adam’s a really tolerant person, and he finds most of my crazy ideas amusing.
Let me backtrack a tad bit. This year, we’re planning on buying a house and land so at some point we can farm. I spend a lot of my time thinking about our future house and what I hope for it, and what I kind of impressions I want to give my children for what makes a home, etc. etc. For some reason, I love hypothetical thoughts and conversations; I feel it helps me prepare for when events start happening. So, bright and early in January, I’m looking around our house thinking about what it means to live a simplified life.
“Adam!” I say excitedly, “we should go through every room in our house again de-cluttering and reviewing our possessions! We’ll do one room a week, and it will be amazing!”
Needless to say, Adam gave me an amused grin and agrees to my new found task. We decided to begin in the bathroom because it’s one of the smallest rooms in our home, and I thought we wouldn’t find that much to part with. We use everything in there on a daily basis, right?
I pulled everything off the shelves, cleaning and rearranging as I went. Now, mind you, we only have one skinny corner shelf with seven square foot ledges to put our belongs on. And yet, there was a plethora of items hiding in plain site. I even made a pile of them, and snapped a photo because I was surprised at what I’d found.
Foot powder, old Lysol (gross), old perfume (gross), a host of personal care products, and some old make-up. Perhaps this doesn’t seem like a lot, but for us, it’s quite a bit compared to what we have now. We sent these aging products off to the best disposal places we could find, which unfortunately means some ended up in the dumpster. We’re holding onto a few things to take to our hazardous waste facility once it reopens in the spring.
That being said, now that our bathroom has been cleaned and de-cluttered for a second intensive time, it has this wonderful zen feeling to it. A year ago, I would have told you the same thing the first time we went through our bathroom, but this time, I feel even more so. It’s a wonderful feeling to not have to sift through things I never use looking for what I will use.
Our bathroom has become this easy to clean, easy to navigate, nothing-ever-gets-cluttered-here zen place because we’ve intentionally made it that way. As I marveled at the simplicity this little room now holds, I am reminded of Bea Johnson’s book called Zero Waste Home. This book was responsible for a large part of Adam’s and my’s journey toward simplicity, and I think another round of reading may be in order as we move to other rooms of our house.
Now, one caveat-we definitely are not reaching my goal of finishing one room a week for this intensive cleaning process. But, we are moving forward one space at a time, and that’s good enough for now. I suppose we’ll be able to master our 700 square feet of space long before we move to something larger, and in the end, that’s all I’m really looking for anyway.
Because, once we’ve mastered the little things, much bigger things will be waiting for us.
Stay simplified, stay humbled, my friends.