Last March, I read an article by Caroline Joy Rector in Momma Bear Magazine about the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, a limited collection of clothing worn for a season. I was frustrated with my hodge podge mountain of clothes since I was wearing the same nursing-friendly pieces on heavy rotation. I jumped into making a capsule, purging piles of clothing, and paring my Spring wardrobe down to 40 pieces including shoes.
After a week, I was hooked on the simplicity of wearing only things I loved. Capsule wardrobing was my gateway drug to minimalism. During Lent, God had already started convicting me about unnecessary spending. I started to consume articles about minimalist living and began decluttering our entire house.
Mitch could see I was happier. I could not shut up about how living with less (and buying less!) could help us achieve our financial goals, relieve stress, make relocating easier if the right opportunity arose, and address the fiery gnaw of want that our consumerist habits had fueled. He started reading about minimalism. We listened to podcasts. Best of all, we started talking about how we could be less greedy, wasteful, and busy while becoming more content, generous, focused, and better able to invest in the people and passions that are important to us. I loved that we had something new and engaging to talk about and that we agreed on who we are as a family and what we want in life.
We came to New Mexico with two cars and two UHaul trucks. We left with one car, one U-box and a small trailer. Before we even heard about a job opening in Texas, we had reduced our possessions by over half. We had scanned all of our documents and photos and shredded the paper copies. We sold what we could and used the money to pay off debt. By the time we moved, we had gone through all of our possessions at least five times and made an item-by-item decision to keep or toss.
Downsizing is an ongoing ritual of making cuts and refusing to buy. The first cuts were slow and tiring, but it got easier. Some decisions were emotionally difficult. Overall, aiming for a simpler life has solved many problems, taught us about ourselves and our habits, made space in our home, minds, and calendar, and allowed us to go from a 2000 sq. ft. house to a small apartment. We love living amongst only our favorite things and spending our time and money with intention.
So, that’s how we got started on our crazy weirdo journey ten months ago. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year from Quill & Hammock!