Minimalism beyond my control: When technology forces me to take a break.

For the past month I have been forced to minimalize my computer usage.  First it was getting an updated computer and then it was a dying modem.  Thus, I have not had an opportunity to post on this site.

I am back up and running.  Lovely new computer with all of my old contents rolled over from the former hard drive, and continuous access to the internet.  A very frustrating month with sketchy internet and crashing service.

During my Technology fast, I tackled a box of homeschool materials that I had set aside wondering if after six months I would miss anything . . . I was surprised, nothing was wanted.

As I shifted through the box, I found a USA map; we had been using an atlas and a globe, no need for the map.  A box of dice and poker-like chips had never been missed, despite my thoughts that we would surely pull them back out for some kind of clever math-game invention.  The window wax crayons were definitely not remembered by the kids, and I am so ready to share them with another young family.  I loved seeing the kids creative, but washing the windows after seasonal coloring festivals was not an easy task.

In the past when I have sorted a cupboard, I would organize the chaos into “Keep, Donate, or Recycle/Trash.”  Homeschooling materials ended up just being “kept” as we would surely be using the items in the future.  I had very little minimizing or decluttering in that area of my life.  I was managing cookbooks and cooking items with no problem.  Sport bags/ballet bags/swim bags were tidy and stored neatly between events.  But when it came to homeschooling, I was keeping everything for memory’s sake and in fear that we-might-need-this, even if I hated it the first attempt.

While separating the homeschool items this past year I used an idea I had read on Becoming Minimalist, four step sorting and then boxing up items I was convinced we would need, dating, and storing.  If I really needed the item, I could access it, but at the end of six months, the items would move on.  I wasn’t so ruthless as to ship the items without peeking back in the box, but oddly, examining the contents, really showed me that what I was holding on to, was not part of the process for organizing our homeschooling.

Nothing was kept.  I boxed up the content and set it with the other items for Thrift Store Pick-up.  A new box has been started.  Everything going in belongs to me; I am not taking or hiding items from the kids or husband.  I plan, that in June I will open the box and close it back up to be sent on to the Thrift Store.

One box at a time, I can let go of some of the items in our schoolroom.  I hear that this gets easier, but the first box is the hardest.


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