My New Minimalist Goal


I’ve been living with less than 100 personal items for more than a decade now. I know my life and my children’s lives are the better for it. I am calmer and wealthier without the clutter. Less stressed.

[exhibit A: I recently helped a friend clean out a room in her basement that had been collecting dust, and it turns out, mice for about 20 years. As we decluttered and vacuumed and scrubbed, she kept exclaiming, “Oh, this feels so wonderful!” “It feels like I am getting my life back!” “This was so overwhelming, I just ignored it.” Bonus–we found a valuable family heirloom that had been missing for 15 years.]

I do still have the goal of eventually having only 100 items all together. But this is not an achievement for the head of a household. That will have to wait until the kids have left home.

I feel that I still have room to grow in the “having enough time” category.

[exhibit B: Since 1985 when I started nursing school with a toddler in tow, I have kept a lengthy “To Do” list. This past year, I wrote a proposal for, created, practiced and presented at a national convention. I studied for and passed my Hospice Certification Exam. I maintained a blog and home full of teenagers. I helped my daughter prepare for college and drove her there with all her stuff. I took my middle son on a 2,300 mile, eight-day college tour. I have a job that pays for all that. I marketed my book.]

What I intend to do for the next year, is live without a “To Do” list. I will still take care of the kids and the house. I will still work out three to four times per week and work on my novel those days as well. But I intend to take it a little easier. More naps on the couch. More library books. More visits with friends.

If I see something that needs to be done….I’ll do it. But if I can’t do it right away I will not write it down on a list. If I forget, I guess it wasn’t that important.

This whole idea seems decadently luxurious.


17 responses to “My New Minimalist Goal

  1. I saw the picture of your living room on Miss Minimilist.It’s perfect.It is what I am aiming for but please keep the cat.

  2. I have just found your blog and read every post under ‘philosophy’ – brilliant! (and I love the drawing at the top of your blog)

  3. Fawn, I am so happy you are back! I hadn’t realized you started writing again until I saw your post on Miss Minimalist this morning. I have absolutely missed your blog, I am excited to catch up on some reading. There’s something so different about your blog compared to others.

  4. I also found you this morning via Miss Minimalist and from just a quick look through of your blog, I can already tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy reading through your archives. I am also a single mom with a teenager at home who has been working to simplify and minimalize (love those words!), so very excited to have found you!

  5. Welcome, Vada! Single mom’s are especially close to my heart!

  6. Found you this morning from Miss Minimalist! Very inspiring. I have wanted to actually do the count and get down to less than 100 personal items for a couple years now. You have really inspired me to get moving and do it!

  7. Found you on Miss Minimalist on Monday. I have been spending a lot of time reading your blog. I am learning a lot. I’m excited to get started on purging all of our stuff…and boy do we have a ton. It will be harder for me than my family…stuff has very little meaning to me, and I’d rather curl up wit a good book and read than watch tv. I’d cut the satellite today if I could but my husband and son love tv. Guess I need to get us more into doing other stuff so that we don’t mindlessly watch tv.

    • No need to worry about the others in the house. Focus on what you want to do/be. I do not expect my kids to be minimalist…and they are not. BUT, they have a healthy respect for who I am and how I do things. And I find that each of my children, in their own way, has learned to let go of stuff that was holding them back….which is an awesome lesson for anyone less than 50 to learn. So…proceed with your own hobby of de-cluttering and be mindful that not everyone in the house will find it as freeing as you. That is OK too.

  8. I found your blog through Miss Minimalist and thoroughly enjoyed reading your post (and now your blog). I am so impressed you have been living with less than 100 items for more than a decade!

    • Thanks! I think the real test will be when the kids leave home and I have to transition to counting everything as my own….or find a new hobby.

  9. Found you through Miss Minimalist and I’ve enjoyed reading your archives. You are inspiring and seem like a beautiful person. I started minimizing in September and and just recently started blogging about it. I’d love for you to check it out. I need feedback!

    • I’ll do that this weekend when I get a minute. Daughter and I have been in Chicago for a couple days…visiting family and a couple things on her bucket list. 🙂 Now, I have to get caught up.

  10. I found your blog through your post on Miss Minimalist and promptly read through all your archives. I look forward to your future writings. Congratulations on achieving some pretty amazing goals!

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