After renovating our back room, we had renovation burn out. We still have a few things to finish in the back - some wood trim around the fireplace, painting the French doors, installing a guide for the sliding bathroom doors and finishing the step to the dining room. We think about it...and then we go stick our heads in some trivial pursuit like browsing the internet.
This renovation did do something to my head though. Having a dining room full of stuff for so long made me realize how much unnecessary junk we've been holding on to. After we cleaned up, I started selling things, donating or tossing stuff that just took up space. I painted everything white. I just needed things to be clean and empty.
I got rid of a china cabinet, piano, humungous desk (which The Man is still not happy about, but seriously, we just put papers on it and it was huge), extra beds, dressers. I can't even remember everything I've thrown out the door.
Things that I've been pondering lately is our obsession as a culture of consumerism. Since our reno, I've been reading minimalist blogs like Becoming Minimalist, miss minimalist, The Minimalists, and other blogs on mindfulness and being aware of what we are doing with our money and time. The Man recently handed me a book called The 4 Hour Work Week and even though I barely have started it, it's about how to make money, work smart and enjoy life, rather than the focus on being make money to buy stuff.
We as a society are often taught to grow up, get married, have kids, buy a big house, fill it with stuff, shove it full to the brim with crap you don't need, upgrade, always upgrade, put yourself in debt buying things, it'll make you happy, and then, what? Save up to go on vacation and get away from your burdensome life? I'm tired of living like this. My goals aren't to have tons of stuff, but they're to have stuff that I like, stuff that I use, stuff that makes me happy and doesn't require a ton of my space and time to maintain it.
So I'm revamping my mindset. Sure, I love decorating and renovating. We're probably not going to stop having projects because as a couple, that's what we like to do. We like improving things. But I'm going to try and not fill up those renovated spaces with useless items, unless they bring me absolute joy to look at them.
My goal is to have a home that has things we need and love, not things that we have for the sake of having them. Things take up psychic space in your brain. Don't you feel better when you've cleaned and purged a room? Objects hold onto you. I'm done with that. I want to be in control of my things, not have them in control of me.
This is a work in progress of course. I recently heaved everything up from the basement and once again filled my dining room up with everything. (I don't have a garage. One would be handy to have.) My basement is a dungeon. It has fieldstone walls, a really crappy cement floor and smells musty. We have our washer, dryer and small freezer down there along with the mechanics of the house. It's not very big, it doesn't go all the way under my house, just the foyer and kitchen. So it can get crowded. It also have almost all of the Man's tools down there. Let me tell you, he has a lot. And he needs every single one of them.
Sometimes I get frustrated. I have a table saw and mitre saw in my dining room all the time because they're too big to get into the basement. Sometimes I think, why do we have this house, that is soon going to be too big for 2 people once we become empty nesters. It doesn't have a garage, my kitchen hasn't been fixed up in 40+ years, my basement smells even with two humidifiers running in it, I also have a treadmill in my dining room (poor thing) that belongs in a basement...why do I live in an older home when I really need a subdivision house??
And then I step into my backyard which is filled with trees and a creek running through it and I'm a 10 minute walk from downtown and the majority of my neighbours are great (except for the screamy nutbar across the street).
I'm so torn.