Try as I might I still accumulate way too many belongings. I tried getting a reminder tattoo; It reads "the more they have, the more they want" in latin to help always remind me that happiness is not defined by what you own. This quote is ironcially true about tattoos too, but thats a whole nother story. Needless to say, this tattoo, while beautiful, does not actually help mimnimize very active participation in the global consumer economy.
I even tried the ol' Only-own-as-many-jackets/shirts-as-I-have-hangers-for trick. Instead of owning fewer jackets/shirts I just ended up buying more hangers.
I thought biting my finger nails was a tough habit to break. But, i successfully conquered that this fall after 25 years. So, i figured I'd turn my attention back to breaking the "stuff- consumption" habit.
This Thanksgiving I had a great opportunity to go stay with my Brother and Sister-in-law in Park City, Utah. Talk about a lesson in minimalism. They live in a tiny tumbleweed home (pictured left) that they built on wheels just over a year ago. Being only ~8 ft wide by ~18 ft long everything they own is multifunctional and fits poetically into their lives. They certainly have toys that do not fit into their home that reside just outside in a little shed- mountain bike, road bike, a few pairs of skis, but other than that it's all inside, all snuggled together.
While not owning a rolling pin around the holidays might be a pain to some, Val handed me an small empty wine bottle as a perfect substitute. We made an amazing vegan pumpkin pie just as easily and efficiently. There were many other times when I stopped to think about how clever they were, and how they made living with minimal belongings work.
When we went mountain biking some might think fitting 4 humans, 4 huge mountain bikes, and all of our gear into a Honda civic might be a serious challenge without a 4-bike rack. But, like pros, Stu and Val tied one bike to the roof, dismantled one bike and put it in the trunk, and used an old (fixed many times) Thule rack on the back for the last two. We did indeed look ridiculous, and it was a challenge in patience at times, but we made it to and from Corner Canyon trails with no problem.
When you are feeling overwhelmed with belongings, remember, it is okay to let go. Donate things that you haven't worn or used in a few months. Chances are, if it didn't look good on you or work the last time, it probably is equally as unflattering/un-useful today. But it might look Great on someone else and thats Okay. Not everything we own has ever, or will ever be the right thing for us, but it might make someone else Very happy. So, donate it or sell it!