When we decided we were going to really pull the plug on excess items in our lives (living our best Minimalist life) it was easy to purge items that meant nothing and did not bring us joy. One of the first steps was, of course, to pair down the items we no longer needed. Some things were obvious: about a hundred cloth napkins, wine glasses suited for a part of 24, winter gloves that could warm an army, and lots and lots more. It’s unbelievable how many multiples of items we had when there are just the two of us. There were words always crept up in my mind when I wanted to get rid of items, “I’ll keep it, just in case”. Those words send chills up my spine now, when I hear someone say them as I now know, it is a safety net. It is an excuse to keep useless items around.
When we got serious about only including items we needed, one of the difficult decisions was the narrowing down of our coffee cup collection. I call it a collection, even there were only a dozen or so, but for us, we had a cute little coffee cup tree that someone got us for a wedding gift, and for some reason, having the choice of which mug to use each morning for our dose of java, seemed to be a pleasure. Also, I always wanted to keep extra mugs around, “just in case”. I mean, how many times did I really host multiple people in the morning for coffee? Never. There was no need for more than two coffee mugs, so the decision came for us to choose two, one each, to use from now on.
We removed the ones that had chips in them from the group, then ones that didn’t have any memory tied to them. That brought us down to two each. The final decision was easy. Gerry kept a mug that we purchased on our first beach trip while we were dating, to the NC Aquarium. Awwww! I (Shannon) kept a mug that I purchased in New York City while visiting one of my favorite cousins, Chris. Both mugs bring us joy, and are tied to a memory that we both gain happiness from. Now, when we have our morning joe, we not only enjoy the coffee taste itself, but we also know that a careful decision of keeping two coffee mugs were intentional, and we purposely enjoy them, and what they remind us of.
Do you have multiple items you can pair down? Try asking yourself if the multiple items you have brings you joy, or are they essential in your life. If you are holding on to something with the words, “just in case” attached to them, you may want to rethink that. You’d be surprised at the time saving having just two mugs created for us. No thinking about which one to grab, no washing of more than two mugs, and no storage of more than two mugs: Simplicity.