bringing joy and my journey towards minimalism


Ever since I began my journey towards minimalism – note the use of the word “towards” and not “to” – I doubt that I will ever fully embrace minimalism – anyway… as I was saying, ever since I began my journey towards minimalism, we jokingly use the term “bringing joy” – a lot.

– the other morning on the way to the train:
Me – I can tell this skirt is going to drive me nuts all day long. I’ll probably get rid of it.
Greg – So, I guess it’s not bringing you joy (a teensy bit snarky)
Ummmm – nope. And yes, that skirt is a goner.

All joking aside, though – this whole concept of bringing joy, is life changing.

Really. I find myself looking around my house, eyeing various objects – “nope, that does not bring me joy, nor does that, or that, and why do I even have that? – oh, but that does; I’m keeping it.” In my mind, I see a line of belongings marching out my door – bye…
While Greg and I hope to move to Away in the not-too-distant future (more on that another day), we will need to get rid of loads of “stuff” in order to combine our two homes into one.

Favorite books
bringing me joy – I’m keeping them!

And while I have been taking the process slowly, this is a path that I am determined to follow. Last weekend – books. I expected it to be a useless task – my books do bring me joy; besides I donate regularly to my local library. Yeah, well, three donation boxes later – I am pretty sure that I could easily get rid of many more. And I will… someday…

Joy - keeping these!In keeping with the order prescribed in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, my next category for purging is “papers.” According to the author, I should toss pretty much everything except for my passport, social security card, and birth certificate. Sounds good to me – count me in!

Currently Reading:

And – because google and Pinterest are ridiculously smart – in a scary sort of way – I stumbled upon this blog. First I was drawn in by the author’s story of becoming a minimalist – then, my oh my, her photography…(swoon), and now, I am breathlessly waiting for updates on the renovations of her countryside cottage in a tiny English village. I am feeling a wee bit stalkerish – yeah, don’t care.

keeping for now

My current reading list – a bit eclectic. I just finished and enjoyed Still Lives.

I highly recommend The Curated Closet. It’s probably best for someone who, like me, is not a “fashionista” and wants to cut back while maintaining a wearable wardrobe. I’ve named my own style – “relaxed classic”, aka “boring”, and chosen my best color palette, which does not include black. This will take a while. Anyway, my new motto – “fewer, better”

Simple Matters – food for the minimalist curiosity

We are headed for Colorado, next weekend – a much needed vacation! I may or may not post – we’ll see how the week goes…

That’s it for me. I’d love to hear what you are up to – book recommendations or special belongings that “spark joy”?




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13 responses to “bringing joy and my journey towards minimalism”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    Do I even dare go look at this blog you found? Knowing that you and I enjoy similar things…
    I am reading The Element by Ken Robinson right now and he has a follow up book Finding Your Element that I will start afterwards. I have watched a bunch of his youtube videos, a good sense of humor with very insightful thoughts on creativity.
    Have a great vacation!!!!

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      I just looked up your book – and now it’s on my to-read list. Thanks!

  2. Lynne Avatar

    I was in the “walk in attic” the other day, looking for photos for my daughter for some kind of activity for her work.
    Photos had to be of her, two and younger . . . (sorry, I will get to the point, in a non minimal way . . . shortly..)
    In one corner I found a stack of what I call, “coffee table books.”
    Now why . . . they can be gone in a flash . . . if I would just get to it . . .
    My reading of late has been all about watercolor.
    Vivian Swift, Gardens of Awe and Folly.
    I purchased two of her books, another on order.
    Watercolor is a study . . . learning bit by bit . . . by doing . . .
    A children’s book, Miss Rumphius has me in awe as well . . .
    Again . . . water color and . . . Lupine . . . a book about making the world more beautiful.
    A Kristin Hannah book sits bedside . . . started . . . hopefully light and easy . . .
    Sometimes I need a “fluff book.”
    (Smiling at the “skirt goner” . . . been there . . .)

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      Haha – I get that part about how they could be gone in a flash if you would get to it. Just as I was looking around the room picturing items that “don’t bring me joy” – I really should have just gotten rid of them. The Vivian Swift book looks beautiful!

  3. Beatrice Boyd Avatar
    Beatrice Boyd

    I am enjoying your post on reducing the number of things you have in your home, Karen. What I especially like is your comment that it’s a gradual process and that’s because I feel the same way. It takes me time to decided whether or not “something brings me joy” (yes, I also read parts of the book and have a copy selected last year as a summer reading prize). I too donate to the library or local thrift stores and buy from the same places as well. But still wonder WHY I have more books than I will read that especially includes cookbooks! Enjoy your vacation and looking forward to seeing your photos and posts when you return cause vacations are for relaxing and, of course, joy!
    Also, a question, why is it necessary to re-enter my name, email and blog site every time a comment is posted. This did not seem to be necessary before.

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      Thanks – I am so looking forward to some time off! I’m not sure why you are having to enter your email and website if you didn’t have to before. I don’t think that I changed anything. Interestingly, though, it seems I have to keep logging in every time I go to my admin page – and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to do that before. I will take a look and try to see if anything has changed. Thanks for your feedback!

  4. Jeevan Avatar

    I could see lot unused around me but still having no mind to give up or just continue to postpone to review those. What I really use or need could be minimal and I’m a person who likes to live simple and neat and never want anything more than enough. Toward is something we are also in board, whether we achieve or not sailing gives hope of landing someday. I always prefer reading biography books and short stories but i wish to read great and popular books

    Enjoy the upcoming weekend

  5. Lisa Gordon Avatar

    It sounds like you’re moving right along, Karen, and wonderfully so!
    It is indeed not an easy task, but when we moved into House #2, 3 years ago, I was so glad that I had taken the time to do this. It took me almost an entire year, but it was so worth it.
    Travel safe, and have a wonderful time in Colorado.

  6. Carola Bartz Avatar

    The way you’re working on being a minimalist does resonate with me, and I wish I had a bit more of this in me. Yes, I do get rid of “stuff”, but somehow it doesn’t feel enough. It sounds like a good idea to ask myself more whether something brings me joy or not – but sometimes, it just has to be practical. My long hair had stopped to bring me joy so I got a new short haircut – best thing I could do. It feels so liberating.

  7. Greg Lakis Avatar
    Greg Lakis

    I am a big supporter of your minimalist approach to things. In spite of the occasional snarky comment 🙂

  8. Debbie Avatar


  9. Debbie Avatar

    awwwww, it worked!! and is that your husbands comment?!?!

    1. Karen Lakis Avatar

      Haha – yes! I was hoping his wouldn’t work so I could use him to test and figure it out. But maybe I did after all! Here’s hoping!

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