The Ebb and Flow of Possessions

No shaming allowed

No shaming allowed

On my recent trip to Minnesota to drive my daughter and her stuff to college, I got a chance to visit with two different persons that know about my counting game of keeping personal possessions to less than 100 items.

Both of them, on different days, in a guilty tone, confessed that they had too much stuff. As if I were a supermodel and they felt bad for eating that balanced meal of grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and rice pilaf in front of me.

The thing is, each of them was in a different phase of life, but one prone to accumulation. One had just helped her parents clear out the family farmhouse (so, not just 50 years of stuff, but 150 years of family heirlooms) and the other has recently welcomed an infant to the family.

The farmhouse clearer is overwhelmed by the stuff that she took into her own home, as she rescued it from de-clutter of her parents home. She is too busy to deal with it now, but we talked about strategies to share the family stuff when she does have time to deal with it. Tellingly, she is motivated to do so sooner, rather than later, as she doesn’t want her kids to have to deal with what she did.

The new mother, on the other hand, is an expert de-clutterer, having previous experience and lots of resources at hand to move items through their home when they are no longer needed. She doesn’t need my help at all. When the time is right, she’ll be able to de-clutter again.

There is an ebb and flow to life. No point in wishing to be at a different point of the cycle.

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7 responses to “The Ebb and Flow of Possessions

  1. Thank you 🙂

  2. That’s exactly why I like (and follow) this blog so much! Although you are the all-time queen of minimalism Fawn, you are just happy to be an inspiration for the rest of us. There is not this “finger pointing” or “I am better than you” mentality. I always find support and respect here (also from the other followers) and reading this blog just makes me happy!

  3. Beatrice’s reply expresses my thoughts. Fawn, you are an inspiration and helpful to us all. I have been kind of lax in downsizing this summer, but I think this fall i will reevaluate some things. Thanks for everyone’s encouragement. I really love this blog!

  4. Yes. Very inspiring. Thank you for the variety of perspectives you come up with for this blog.

  5. What a great sense of relief when we downsize. I went through my things again in the past month and have let go of more (I like Fawn’s suggestion to dry lettuce on a towel so I’ve given up my salad spinner!). My brother’s friend from Cameroon is bringing to Canada three of his family members who will be starting from scratch to it’s nice to know that these persons will be using the things I no longer need (or never needed in the first place).

  6. I love reading your blog and strive to be with less stuff. I live in my great grandparents’ house with no closets and continually strive to pare down. They raised ten kids in it with no running water or electricity. I now have both with only 1 bathroom. It has forced us to communicate better. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

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