We have downsized from 3 homes, (and a fourth rental residence in the french Quarter of New Orleans where my husband was working), to one small house 6 miles from Lake Superior in The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We live in a county with no stop lights. My husband has retired early, as job stress was literally killing him. We have gone from business dinners in the French Quarter of New Orleans to home cooked, healthy meals my husband is learning to prepare with vegetables from our own garden, fish from the lake and local wild game. No more hurried lunches sitting at a desk, now we take time once a week to ride our snowmobiles 20 miles to eat at a favorite restaurant overlooking a beautiful lake.
I have sold or given away 3/4 of my wardrobe, I have no where to wear those things, and frankly, not much desire to go back to those places where they are needed. My style and priorities have changed greatly. Now I spend my money on things like a great tech coat for hiking!
We still go to Hilton Head, SC where we HAD a house, but we stay for a month with friends and family and enjoy their hospitality. I take along one or two great outfits for those occasions when they are needed.
We were also news junkies, eating dinner in front of the Chicago Nightly News, watching gang killings and political corruption run rampant. Now we tune into the local UP News where they often lead with a car accident.
I teach free Yoga classes twice a week in the winter, giving back to my comunity. I LOVE my Senior Chair Class!
I no longer go to a crowded gym. I split and stack wood, shovel my back deck & roof and hike miles in the Porcupine Mountains with our dogs in the summer and fall.
I still struggle with letting go of things. I grew up with very little, so the trappings of success were very important to me. Paring down from 3 homes and 30 years of possesions is challenging, but I am a work in process.
We have made a major life shift - lots less "stuff", lots more time for one another and the thing we love to do.
Namaste - "The light with in me honors the light that is within you"
To get rid of clutter in my life, I'll clean closets, drawers or other "nests," as I refer to them! I also drink my coffee, watch a half hour of local news, read Scriptures and listen to Christian contemporary music and catch an episode of "Seinfeld" to start off my day with a laugh! On Saturdays, I always do a weightlifting class in the morning, and Sunday morning church. Works great for me!!
Good Afternoon Ms. Seymour,
I very much enjoyed your Letter from the Editor on eliminating clutter.
I would love to speak with someone about my de-cluttering journey. I’m not a writer but I do think I’ve traveled an interesting path towards a cathartic freedom, a natural resilience, and now I’m extremely healthy to have all these “baggages” – emotional, physical or otherwise, liberated from my life.
Over the past few years, but mainly over the past year, I’ve totally de-cluttered my life:
a) I broke up with an emotionally draining, sissy boyfriend (in 2010)
b) Lost 30 lbs (in 2011)
c) I changed profession as an Architect for the past 30 years to being a Director of Supply Chain with a major hotel company (2011)
d) Took all of my old Kodachrome slides (1000+) from my summer of 1984 in Denmark as a student and transferred them to a CD and saved it into my computer (2013).
e) Moved from a 4 bedroom/3 bath house with a pool, backyard and garage (I lived there alone too!) and moved in with my boyfriend into to a 1 bedroom condo (on the beach) with three linear feet of closet space (2013)
f) Took all of my dog’s kennels, toys and bedding and donated them to the animal shelter (2013). They now sleep in a small bed and have 3 toys total.