Our church is hosting a rummage sale at the end of the month, and that was the kick in the pants I needed to look in some of our cupboards and closets for things we don't use anymore. No, as I write that I realize it was just the final kick -- I've been reading Joshua Becker's The Minimalist Home, and Ryan Fields Milburn's Everything That Remains, and Will Davis, Jr.'s Enough and Peter Kalmus' Be The Change. And every one of those books agrees that Too Much is counter to happiness and peace and the health of our planet. So I've been culling my surplus in hopes that it will be a blessing to other people, and also in the hope that it will encourage other people to buy used instead of new.
It's interesting to me, at this point, to see what we now consider unimportant. We got rid of a vase that was given to us as a wedding gift. But it's my second-favorite vase, so it rarely gets used -- I very rarely have two vases of cut flowers in my house at once. I got rid of some old refrigerator glass containers -- we use them during strawberry season, as once pint of strawberries cut up exactly fills one container, but I don't buy single pints of strawberries, so it's kind of missing the point. We got rid of books we don't read, and won't read. We got rid of a vintage thermos, and we'd get rid of one more if we could agree which one is better (mine is smaller on the outside but holds more. It is clearly superior! But my husband likes the cup that comes with the other one, so in the name of marital harmony we will continue to keep both). I got rid of tea I don't like and spices I used in a gift and I found a place to put my electric kettle so it won't hog so much counter space all day.
And if I'm completely honest, I'm also decluttering because I want the house to feel clean. I stopped by someone's house, and her home was So. Much. Cleaner. than mine has been lately! Granted, she doesn't have a dog (how can a dog shed that much and never go bald?) but mine is worse than that. Less stuff in my cupboards will give me room to store what remains. With more counter-clutter stored for 23 hours a day, the whole house will look a little more polished. That polish will make me feel more at peace, and happier, and as a result the whole family will be happier.
So I'm grateful for the pushes that came together to make the house just a little more minimalist.