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Intentional Homemaking

Last weekend, we visited the Habitat For Humanity Restore and we bought a couch, an armchair, kitchen chairs, and a cabinet. Our Christmas tree is up and decorated, and our new home feels cozy and comfortable.

Lately, I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about minimalism. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a minimalist lifestyle, and now that we’re moving away from farming, it seems like a good time to pare down and really evaluate what we need and what we can discard.

However, it is a challenging time of year to be thinking about minimalism! It’s the holidays, and I’ve been busily making purchases for the little ones in my life as well as several adults. In addition to that, there are so many things that we’ve needed to purchase for our new home – towel racks and furniture and cleaning supplies, etc.

It’s overwhelming. I get stressed about spending too much money, on the house or on gifts. And when I approach these tasks – homemaking and gift giving – from the perspective of an aspiring minimalist, it’s hard to figure out how to navigate it all.

I was so happy when I thought of the idea to go to the Habitat ReStore to look for furniture. All or most of the items at the ReStore are used, and the proceeds are used to support Habitat For Humanity, an organization I’ve volunteered with many times. If we have to buy a couch – and we did, because story time for me, Edgar, and Jonas all squeezed into one armchair was getting dangerous – then it felt good to find one we liked that was previously owned and not too expensive.

Making intentional purchases like this is challenging for me. I’m impulsive, and once I get a notion for a purchase in my head – like the day I realized that I couldn’t successfully read a book with both boys on my lap on an armchair – then I want to buy the item I need immediately. After I buy it, I feel mostly satisfied, but not completely. I feel completely satisfied when I make a purchase that’s what I want and need in a way that feels responsible and intentional.

I have a lot of goals for 2020. It’s a great year to be setting goals! We have a new house and a new lifestyle, and I’m pretty settled in to my new job. And one of my goals is related to this whole process of making intentional purchases. I’m not great at planning ahead – but I want to be. I want to plan ahead, think ahead, and make choices and purchases with intention.

Meanwhile, I’m typing this while curled up in my new armchair, enjoying our charming Christmas tree and our living room that feels comfortable and cozy. I feel happy and grateful to have this house to call a home.

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