Rhonda and I had the opportunity to meet Kate when we did a Wellness Fair at her place of employment. She told us about how much she was enjoying her minimalist lifestyle. As much as Rhonda and I can appreciate this way of living, it isn’t something we see a lot of in our line of work. Lots of the folks that we walk life with tend to go in the other direction and have challenges with the quantities of “stuff” that they have in their homes.
I was interested to learn more about Kate’s experience with “less” and she agreed to welcome me into her space for a tour and a chance to talk with her in more detail.
Kate’s home is in the lower level of a 1 ½ storey house. Previous to her moving in, it had been completely re-done. It was bright and open and had everything she needed for her lifestyle.
Technology is a big part of Kate’s life excess of paper is not an issue for her. This small file box is all she requires.
Everything else is on her devices. She photos her paper and then shreds it. She doesn’t have her own shredder, but rather takes a few papers on a regular basis and shreds at her office.
The kitchen area provides all the space that she requires for food prep, eating and work space.
Her comfy chair can face her TV/fireplace, or be swivelled in another direction if she prefers.
Window sills have mirror on the surface to reflect the light.
This closet is all season so no switchover of clothing is necessary. She does have a spot by the entrance door to hand her jackets.
Kate has just a few decor items that have sentimental value to her.
This cupboard is her only overflow area for storage
Kitchen – cupboards are very comfortable. Nothing is stacked. Easy to access what she needs when she needs it.
Kate has a combination bathroom/laundry room with full-sized tub, vanity, toilet, washer/dryer. In this room there is enough open space for a folding laundry drying rack that can be set-up when required.
I asked Kate what motivated her to this lifestyle in the first place. She told me that her Dad had been terminally ill and Kate was his care giver. At this point in her life it was an issue of space and time. She realized she was paying higher rent on her bigger apartment where she was spending very little time. Kate made the decision to rent this smaller apt and as it turned out her Dad died at almost the same time. She had to make a lot of decisions very quickly and it became easy for her to prioritize what she used all the time and what she could say good-bye to.
She opted to donate what she was editing rather than selling it. Kate likes to help people and because her items were of excellent quality she was happy to pass them along directly to people that she knew or to the MCC Thrift Store in Elmira.
Kate says the more she gave away, the easier it became to give away more.
Due to the timing and the emotions around losing her Dad, Kate does admit that she rented a small storage unit for a short period of time. It was imperative that she got everything out of the larger apt, but some of the decisions were just too emotional to make. She chose though to separate herself from these items and put them in storage. A year later, she realized she hadn’t missed anything so she loaded it all up and delivered it (without looking inside the boxes) to MCC in Elmira.
My visit with Kate and our conversation was a good reminder for me that the important things in life aren’t things. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but it was interesting to hear from Kate what a positive experience it has been for her!
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