Musings on compromises and essentials

#8/11 in my "Joy of Less" journey of simplification

Remember that great Disney Song bare necessities from Jungle book (Disney 1967)?

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That’s why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life

The bare necessities of life will come to you

And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
For something you want that can’t be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you

                          Songwriter: TERRY GILKYSON
Sometimes I wish I could live like Mowgli and the Baloo, but neither have extensive commitments or retirement worries that I do.  Thus, while I encourage you consider the bare necessities of life, i concurrently admit that my family commitments, compromises and financial security challenge are my worries and strife, limiting my ‘rest at ease’ and joy of less.

Philosophical Concept: Enjoy without owning (Ch)

In our quests to become minimalists, we reduce the things that require our care and attention. (p., 51)

Jay argues that “enjoying without owning” is one of the keys to having a minimalist home. While I agree philosophically, in reality, in this day and age, owing a computer or at least very good cell phone is a requirement for modern communication, owning your own home can still enhance your financial security, and at least in many areas of the vast United States, and other areas with minimal pubic transportation or rentals, owning a car is a key to freedom. For us personally, our loves ones depend on our ability to house and transport them. Renting the downstairs of our home is unquestionable enhancing our financial security. Thus, perhaps because I am a woman, a first born, a mother who lives in Hawaii – I can’t truly be as minimalist as I’d like to be because I value my family and our long-term financial security more than i value my need for simplicity and doing what I want.

STREAMLINE: Narrow down (Chapter 19)

In chapter 24, the final chapter of the Wellness Compass Travel Guide,  I encourage each of us to clarify our Top 20 Wellness Essentials. It’s amazing how I wrote this chapter without even reading Jay’s 19th chapter on Narrow down.  Same concepts: They must be true!

If you embrace minimalism wholeheartedly, you’ll find yourself constantly on the lookout for new ways to Narrow Down your stuff (perhaps prioritizing, economizing, or digitizing). Be creative. Regard it as a personal challenge to do more with less, and have fun exploring all the possibilities. You may be surprised at what you can do without. (p. 106)

Storage (Ch.26)

More storage space seems like the answer to a streamlined appearance, but it’s not.  For most of us, the less room we have, the less we accumulate: the more we have, especially over time, the more we accumulate.   While singles can unquestionably live simply, families need more room and storage.

Storage spaces, whether a closet, basement, attic, garage or all of the above, need streamlining just like the rest of our home. If we don’t, storage just accumulates clutter. Whether you start little, as in one closet or box, or tackle the entire garage, apply all the key concepts of simplifying to your storage areas: Treasure, Transfer or Trash;  Everything in its place; All surfaces clear:  Modules and Containers and definitely clarifying items that belong in your inner circle (what we need most frequently), outer circle (less frequently) from deep storage items.

Deep storage compromises. All I can tell you is that deep storage is where my husband draws the line.  Even though he loves me and knows how much clutter and excess bothers me –  he’s not ready to let go. 10% of its mine, taxes or something i’m saving for our daughters in containers: 90% of its his or something he refuses to get rid of.  While i can maintain control almost all of the inner circle in our house –  the living room, my office, the kitchen, the lanai and our bathroom, and the commonly used areas in the garage (my sports area and laundry area) –  our bedroom, all his storage areas including 40% of our closet (he has more space outside of the closet), and the vast netherlands under the house, in the storage shed and in garage rafters belong to him.  At least once a year i raise holy hell and we get rid of a few of the worst offenders – typically broken furniture or appliances that’s too heavy for me to lift myself. For the most part, a good 40% of our stuff sits in deep storage collecting dust, mold and bug dung. It smells. It’s gross. I try not to ignore it.  It’s a bane of of my existence.

They say marriage requires compromise. We’re 27 years and going strong!

“The Joy of Less” series is a key component of my personal quest for simplification and my annual New Year’s Resolution Plan for 2017.

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