Mandatory Minimalism

25. That's the number of totes we have packed for our family. 25 tubs of stuff, squished, twisted and jammed into every nook and cranny. All our items, being sent off and not seen again for about 16 months, fits into about 25 black boxes (and a pile of odds and ends, to be fair).

How exactly does one reduce their worldly possessions to fit in 25 bins? Months, literally, of thinking and pondering, and yes, praying about what to send.

And lists. So many lists!!

What would you bring if you had 25 bins?

What would make the cut? The magazine collection? The cool kitchen toy that's an 'absolute must-have'? How about the cute basket that was "such a deal"?

As we have gathered our things and debated the merits of each item, I have been forced to consider what is truly worth having. You know what? There are a lot of things I can do without!

Someone walked into my house the other day and said "I thought it'd look more sparse in here!" But when life needs to fit into black and yellow squares, each item pondered, it's amazing what can be left behind.

Those dishes that I use once-a-year? Not gonna pay to send those across the ocean (which Jesh will be very happy about!). How about the over-sized serving tray that makes a chicken look like a chickadee? Or the extra glasses gathering dust in the back of my cupboard?

How many shoes does one really need, anyways? What number is the perfect mix of shirts and pants and skirts and sweaters to create the ideal wardrobe? A wardrobe that, for us, will pretty much be the same for 2 years (and needs to withstand red dirt and hand-washing!).

Don't even get me started on toys! I can't wait to say goodbye to Kids Pack collectibles and loot bag 'treasures'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be so very grateful for the items that we have selected to make the journey to Burundi!

I can't wait to get to our new home and be met with some familiar items, like my cozy blanket and favourite baking dishes. Perhaps others wouldn't have selected beautiful mugs as something worth bringing, or the kitchen utensils I adore, but they are really going to help us settle in and make a home there.

We all have things that work for us, and are special to us. Maybe you don't know what baking ammonia even is, but I brought some so I can make the favourite christmas cookies that have been family tradition for years.

I'm learning that it's not about a martyr mentality, but seeking to understand what's really adding to our life and what is cluttering it up and bogging us down.

'Minimalism' seems to be the talk of the day, but I hope the concept goes beyond a momentary trend. Not that we are all gonna live in those sweet, idyllic Tiny Homes! Maybe for some it looks like going from a 3500 square foot house to a 1200 sq. ft. For us, it comes down to 25 bins. Whatever it may look like, let me say...it feels amazing to let go of the hold that stuff has, and recognize that it's true-less is more!

By Julie