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simplicity

September 22, 2009

Going to school has meant separating myself from the majority of my material possessions, albeit temporarily.  I moved here with the maximum carry-on baggage and had just over a pound to spare (but no room) in my two pieces of checked luggage.  I am short a few things but nothing I can’t live without.  Well, maybe my sewing machine!  I should be able to manage 9 months though;)

When I first left home for school 14 years ago, everything I needed fit in a few boxes.  By the end of year 1 I had my car 50% full.  The next year there wasn’t an extra foot of space, not even under the roof.  By the time I was done school I had accumulated 20 something boxes and everything I could take on the plane.  Things haven’t changed much in the last decade but with this move I don’t need kitchen ware, my bike, a plethora of swimming equipment (for a non- gear intensive sport there can be a LOT of accessories) or a printer.  I’m also being more conscious of what I need and trying to limit the extras.  I think it’s going to be a challenge but one which will hopefully make it easier to live simply and prepare for a move to something smaller when I’m done school.

There were some oversights in my packing – the only pants I brought are for cold weather (it’s been hot) and only two of them are suitable for the classroom.  I also forgot about t-shirts so didn’t bring enough of them and only one in a light colour.  I made a trip to the thrift store on the weekend to start filling in some of the gaps but will have to be diligent to make sure that I don’t go overboard again.  Just to make sure this is my “before” clothing photo.  All my extra winter layers are in the bottom left.

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On the kitchen front, I know Kevin and I are a little different from most but I’m quickly learning just how different.  Some of the things I consider necessities are not standard fare in this kitchen.  For example, I couldn’t find any cookie sheets or sharp knives and unless I do something about it, I won’t have access to measuring cups, measuring spoons or a waffle iron.  It’s making me rethink what things really are important.  Certainly the waffle iron is a strange one but it’s become my favourite way to start the day because it’s cheap, easy and doesn’t require special cereal or bread that can be *so* hard to get in Alberta.  I’ll definitely keep the one at home but I think 9 months without it will be quite alright.  On the other hand I might not want to go much longer without measuring cups and spoons.

The other challenge I’ll need to meet in preparation for a small house is in terms of kitchen counter and pantry space.  There is ample counter space in this kitchen but a plethora of large appliances are taking up space.  I have a hard time when the deydrator joins the microwave and kettle for more than a day at home so I’m going to have to do some work on my thinking so that the situation here doesn’t cause me to go crazy!  It’s a good challenge though and  I can’t wait to get home at Christmas and start purging!

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4 comments

  1. Wow – nice closet! I wish mine looked that neat. I’ve not started purging but I have stopped accumulating – does that count? Right now I think my money is going into less tangible things. It kind of reminds me of the movie Brewster’s Millions where they guy needs to spend millions of $ and have nothing to show for it at the end. That was a funny movie. Anyway I like the idea of living more simply.


  2. Yeah. Every time my Kevin starts talking about purging I am always saying, “yeah but we paid for all of that stuff.”

    That alone is a huge realization of how much unneccesary stuff we have. Put then two hours later I am convincing myself that I just have to have something else. Ugh!


  3. Well I sure hope you like the idea of downsizing;) I know, I know, the sewing room is probably the largest area of accumulation. But since you’re sending some of it out here it’s in fact starting to dwindle ever so slightly too!

    And M, yes I completely get that type of buyers remorse. Happens every time my closet gets hard to move around in!


  4. Buyers remorse. That’s my constant state these days.
    Since I have been working again I have been splurging. What I really need is to pruge but they I see our hard earned dollars going out the door and it bugs me. It partially bugs me because I feel like it was wasted.
    I could be debt free if it wasn’t for all of those clothes, movies, even books!
    It just makes me shake my head. I need some sort of accountability. Maybe a purging blog. Everyday I post an item I am donating or giving away??? Hmmm…that doesn’t sound too bad. Then I’d feel guilty about buying because I’d have to post my non-essential purchases too (groceries and gas being essential).



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