Simple It started in 1998


It started in 1998 with The Overspent American. I’d had periods of purging before, and had given thought to simplification, but this book was the catalyst. It opened my eyes to our consumerist nation, and freed me to find what was truly important.

I followed closely with Your Money or Your Life, a book I’ve read more than once–each time incorporating another idea.

The Purge has become a joyous ritual for me. Each time I get rid of another pile of stuff, I feel more free to be myself–to concentrate on the things I actually love.

But it’s been about more than things. It’s been about the reasons behind them. And I’m not talking blind consumerism here.

For example, before I moved into the new apartment, I had the revelation that I hate to cook. Nonetheless, I’d been cooking because everyone cooks. I had all these gadgets, pots, pans, utensils, that I almost never used, and I didn’t like it when I did. Thus, out they went with the next purge.

This time, it’s books. My mother loved books. I think she envied them–she wanted to write but wasn’t any good at it. Books were a symbol to her of all she strived for but couldn’t have. So here I am with a ton of books on my shelves. Yes, I like to read, but I don’t read anything more than once unless it’s reference or nonfic. The subjects are telling as well. There’s a lot of occult reference that my family would have loved. I even used to be interested, but I’m really not any more. I’ve pared down a lot recently, but now the final pruning occurs. Bet I get down to one little shelf of books I actually use.

Simplicity isn’t just about getting rid of stuff. It’s about getting rid of old ideas imposed by outside sources. What’s left is what I love.

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