Every four months or so my husband and I have the same “discussion”-what some might call an argument but who cares about labels? I reach a breaking point with the amount of things in the house and the constant cleaning so I go on a bender ripping through the house looking for things to get rid of. My husband usually follows behind removing things from the discard box saying “we might use this someday!!”
This scene is probably not foreign to many couples; there is not always perfect agreement when it comes to what is a “necessity”. My lovely husband is a keeper (in more than one way); he becomes sentimentally attached to EVERYTHING. When I tried to get rid of a pan that we had used in our first home he became very upset about it and insisted that we needed to keep it since we might need it. Mind you we had three other pans just like it so it was more about the memory for him than the usefulness.
This sort of interaction causes more than a little contention in my house. With this month of the balance project focusing on minimalism the “discussion” happened again. This time we decided to really have a sincere conversation and try to see the others point of view. I explained to my husband that the whole reason I wanted to downsize was to allow me more time with him and our daughter and less time with our home and things. He explained that he found use in the items that we wanted to keep and was nervous that I would simply throw everything out. I want to embrace minimalism to bring peace in my life and it seemed to be doing the opposite of that.
So what did we do? We realized that (not to be cliché) communication is everything. We decided that a compromise would be the best way to solve our problem. I agreed that my husband’s studio space was his and I would not try to minimize it and we would let me help him organize his space so that when he needed something he could find it. We took a trip to Ikea and invested in some storage facilitators agreeing that everything he might need at some point should be able to fit in that space. I do believe Ikea has both saved and severed many a relationship. 🙂 In conclusion there is no right way to be a minimalist, the key is to remember the goal is more mindful living and there is no perfect formula for that.
Me and the hubby as portrayed by a very generous caricature artist