When my husband and I returned from Japan we were happy to be home, but the event was bittersweet.  We walked back into our townhouse and we both felt a bit of sadness that we had returned home to all the doldrums of daily life.  We both immediately felt that we wanted to make some changes to our life back home.

When we vacationed in Japan we felt very free and unburdened.  (For most of the trip) we traveled with just one carry-on bag each.  We were staying in places where the aesthetic was minimalist and didn’t have a set schedule that we had to follow (though we did have a rough idea of where we were going and what we were seeing while there).  It was also wonderful to be free of the daily and weekly chores that have to get done when you’re at home.  While on vacation we had to wash our clothes every few days but that was all.  No dishes, no dusting, no vacuuming, no garbage to take out.  Another huge blessing that we had was that we had budgeted everything very well so I didn’t have to worry if we’d have enough spending money or if our mortgage payment would get returned NSF.

Japan has inspired us to let nature into our lives and try to make things grow.  We’d been won over by the minimalism evident in many different places.  We decided that we definitely wanted to bring some of the serenity of minimalism into our home.  In order for that to happen, we’ve got a lot of work in front of us and will probably have to invest both our time and money into some furniture and decor changes.

So, we made a list.  We picked the areas that we thought definitely needed work and then listed specific things we wanted to change in each of those areas.  We reviewed the list today and realized that we didn’t have too much to cross off yet, which was a bit disheartening.  But then I realized that it’s because we’ve needed to make room for the changes by getting rid of our clutter.  Now just so you know, if you were to look at our house, you probably wouldn’t think it had a ‘clutter problem.’  We didn’t have stuff stacked in hallways or anything like that.  We just had stuff that we don’t love, don’t use, or don’t need anymore instead of something cherished or truly useful.

I’ve done two quick closet purges and think I might just do another before too long.  It’s really hard to find a variety of clothes to wear to work now, but at least I don’t put something on and then hate it!  Our office has also felt our wrath and our recycling box will be full for quite a while.  We’ve even purged our bookshelves, which has been a huge step.  We are both bibliophiles so getting rid of books is very hard.  But a new spirit of ruthlessness has entered our decluttering and we’ve gotten rid of about 4 file-boxes of books so far.  We finally decided that even though our current inherited furniture is still functional, it doesn’t fit our decorative style or our lifestyle needs.  So far we’ve gotten rid of 2 (borrowed) mini-van loads along with a couple trunk-fulls from our own car.  I discovered a CD I’d promised to lend a friend almost a year ago.  We found a few duplicated copies of books (kept the first edition and ditched the paperback).

And, we’re just picking up steam.  So, I think my medium rock project for the indeterminate future will be de-cluttering the house.  I’d really like it to feel finished and like the sanctuary that we’re imagining.


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