|Cindy La Ferle|
Lately, I keep running across new magazines, blogs, and even documentary films devoted to the topic of "minimalism" -- or living the simple life. As a lifestyles columnist, I've seen this theme resurface every five years or so, and it never fails to lure me in.
With summer drawing to a close -- and another birthday bringing me closer to my mid-sixties -- I've been inspired to start getting rid of stuff. Lots of stuff. But this time, rather than making it an intensive, all-consuming project, I've set a reasonable goal that I can easily achieve. One closet, one drawer, at a time.
The challenge is simple but non-negotiable: I must toss or recycle at least one unnecessary or unwanted item every day for the rest of the year. This makes the process less overwhelming, plus I'm not as likely to discard things I'll later regret.
One morning, for instance, I went through my make-up drawer and tossed a handful of cosmetics I haven't used in a while --including items that contain parabens and other harmful chemicals. The following day, I turned my attention to one side of the medicine cabinet. (How many half-empty bottles of nasal spray do we really need?) Another day, when I was feeling more ambitious, I organized two clothing closets. I pulled jackets, pants, dresses, and shoes that I haven't worn in years and sorted them into bags or piles. Some will be given to friends; others will go to charities.
Back in my home office last week, I bagged a stack of books that I'm not planning to re-read, and then drove them to a local senior center.
One day at time.
There's something very liberating about paring down and recycling. It forces me to consider how many needless purchases I've made, and to examine my motives for accumulating things. All said and done, my home and my life will look and feel so much lighter. ~CL