Journey Back to Minimalism

Journey Back to Minimalism

For a while now I have been longing to simplify my life. Since I became a mama, it’s been increasingly difficult for me to stay on top of my household chores. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from a hoarder, far from “overwhelmed with clutter”. I’m run the average household. I have a 3-bedroom, 1200 sq ft house. But this house has been in a far from perfect state lately.

Here’s my story. I came to this country with one suitcase! My entire life packed in one 22 kg (50 lbs) or less piece of luggage. I moved in with a friend of mine and her family. I didn’t need my own dishes, my own vacuum cleaner, my own washer to do laundry.

Cleaning my first ever car! It was a 12 year old Dodge Spirit.
2004 – Cleaning my first ever car! It was a 12 year old Dodge Spirit. This baby fit all my belongings during the first move.

After a few months, it was time to move on, before I overstayed my welcome. I was far from being able to afford my own apartment, so I moved into a situation where I was renting one bedroom and sharing a bathroom and kitchen with others.To move from my friend to the one-bedroom situation, I managed to pack all my belongings into my sedan sized car and it only took one trip to move. My life didn’t fit into one suitcase anymore but it still wasn’t much.

At that time I worked three jobs to save for grad school. As an immigrant, I didn’t qualify for financial aid, student loans, and I actually had to pay out-of-state tuition. Every penny I earned had to be saved. I couldn’t afford buying anything for myself but I was lucky enough to work with fabulous people. When they found out I was on my own, I received boxes filled with items they didn’t use anymore. I got plates, cups, curtains, even a painting to hang on my wall! I was so thankful for everything!

After about a year, living with many other people was becoming overwhelming. Too many cooks spoiling the broth! And literally, too many cooks, not enough cleaners. If you know what I mean. Lol. My then boyfriend and I decided to move out. Our friend’s brother was renting a small house and needed tenants. Here we were! It felt amazing! To move into that house, we rented a small U-Haul and packed it with all our stuff. Both our belongings fit into one trip to the new place.

The problem was that now we had to furnish two bedrooms and a tiny living room. I joined a Freecycle group and managed to acquire needed items. I shopped Salvation Army for furniture and visited many yard sales. This was also the time that I graduated from grad school and finally got a job outside of waitressing and cleaning cars for living! After a while it became possible for us to buy a house!

Moving truck is ready to go
2008 – Our moving truck is ready to go. Three trips later we were in our own home!

To move into our house – the one we still own – we again rented a U-Haul and did three trips to move. Here we are, 9 years from that moment. I still own the painting that was hanging on my wall way back 🙂 If you asked me to move today, I would need to start packing weeks in advance. Life just happened in those 9 years.

I reached a point where I long for those simpler days. Between working two jobs, paying bills, running errands, and taking care of tons of other things, the last thing I want to do is stress over my house. And there are days where i feel like I can’t keep up with it all.

Coffee table
2012 – My friend’s wedding flowers on my coffee table. I was still able to keep it all together then 🙂

I need to reduce the amount of things I own. I need to simplify to enjoy my life and my family rather than spend time organizing and cleaning. Are you at the same point in life? Did you maybe complete a similar journey? I hope that I’ll manage to accomplish my goal. I need to get there. For my own sake and for my entire family!

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