The KISS Method

I don’t know that my friends and family would describe me as a sentimental type of girl, in fact I think my mother and kids would pose a strong case for the opposite.  In my mind however, I’m extremely sentimental, only with different things that make up the intangible – things like, sincerity, strength, character, personal fortitude, humility and the realness of life’s adventure.  But yet, I concede.  I’m sentimental about stuff too, I just didn’t realize it until I have hit a point in life where I’m down to the basics, and there’s those last few boxes in life to deal with.

And yet, here I sit, procrastinating life and staring at boxes that have only taken me 6 months to get to.simple-quote-einstine

In six years, I’ve moved five times.  Each time necessary and each time unloading the unnecessary.

In 2010, my husband at the time and I moved from Grande Prairie to Edmonton – we edited.

In 2011, we moved back from Edmonton to Grande Prairie, there was no edit of “stuff’ as we had professional movers so there was no need.

In 2011, we went through a separation.  I edited.  I edited and edited a few more times in more ways than one.

In 2012,  we sold our family home which was around 2400 square feet of “stuff” plus a garage and a shed under the deck.  I literally cut my personal belongings in half moving to a new home which was about 1800 square feet, no garage, no shed.

In 2014, after a cold winter break-in with an unwanted and unknown to me “sleep over” in my basement, as well as an attempted home invasion via a man posing as a by-law officer with complaints of my “dogs” (whom I like to affectionately call children), I left Grande Prairie and moved to a small town 15 minutes north of the city to simplify and quiet life.  We were to move into a one floor up/down suite which then require the next major purge.  Most of the “stuff” went to a single woman who just moved to the country the week before from Africa, saw my add in the paper for some of my furniture and came to pick it up – only I gave her everything.

Take it all, I said.  Decorate your home.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2016 and relocating to my home town of Fraser Lake BC and I’ve now been brought to a point of pairing down to the bare essentials.  Whatever can not be crammed into a 16×23 cabin, one of those ever present Costco sheds, and two bedrooms in my parents house will be GONE!

simpligySuch is life.


Somewhere between 2000 and 2010 my ex bought me a kitchen aid mixer……four uses later it now sits on my mothers counter.  Who am I kidding, I don’t bake.

It never really occurred to me how much bathroom crap us females can have until I try and stuff it in a small space.  I lost count a few boxes ago and it sits in my bedroom waiting for it’s fate.

Picture frames, still showcasing the picturesque family it was sold in, pile in the corner hidden behind my desk as one day….just one day, i’ll have the time to print out all my pictures and hang them.  *insert plug for Sherry Penner Photography here 

Books.  My heart has been stolen and imprinted within the words of many books.  I look at my perfectly matching sets of books all lined up accordingly, separated fiction from non-fiction and perfectly displayed for me to gaze upon in fond memory as I remember their story.  Most stayed, but just as Sir Francis Bacon quoted, I have carried out.


Pampered Chef, Princess House, Tupperware, and countless treasures of random meanderings of various retail stores and highly intoxicated home parties, now lay in boxes and I stare at them and sigh……..

Who needs four frying pans, and that kitchen aid food processor I used to make baby food, 14 years ago?

Who needs cake decorating supplies?  I don’t care to make these perfect cakes anymore, God gifted bakery’s and their bakers for a reason.

Who needs a huge box full of CD’s collected since 1990?….. no seriously, does anyone want these? I got iTunes and that box has been lugged around by my dad five times.  Time to save my dad’s back.

Who needs my $3500 sewing machine and all my quilting supplies?….no wait, that stays!!!

Who needs fancy silverware that I’ve used once in 22 years?  Not me, plastic eliminates dishes.

Who needs 15 jackets, an ungodly amount of shoes and an undisclosed amount of purses?…..I DO!!!! Those stay!  However I am seriously considering editing the pile, as what were retail therapy purchases during my marriage seem to no longer be needed.  I have my favourites.

A series of thoughts which flow through my head start with how much money I spent on each item, to questioning when the last time I used the item and then how much emotional energy do I have to store it for future use and possibly another last and final move……..*insert ironic laugh here.

back to the basicsSo here I sit, choosing the fate of these final boxes and I stare.  I walk away and reflect in procrastinated artistic postponement of the inevitable and I blog.

It’s like therapy or a personal inventory of sorts: shed a little bit, pause, reflect, deny, deal and then shed a little more.

I’m going back to the basics…..again, but man is it costly!

Funny thing though, today I struggle with giving it away and tomorrow I wont remember I had it.


  1. What a great story! While the tone of loss and past experiences creates a mellow sadness, the simplification of belongings is an inspiration.
    Society has been driven to value these items as personal worth so as to create the ever growing consumer industry, I am as caught up in it as anyone. Your words “I’m going back to the basics…..again, but man is it costly!” show the natural desire to exist from within struggling with the teachings of the economic system. Consumerism has created TAPES within the population.

    I admire your edits. I applaud your identification of the things that bring you joy. I wish you all the best in life continued adventure. And I Thank you for writing again – seems like its been a while.

    Hugs and Beans


  2. Beautifully written, Jennel! Hats off to you. Living simply is not easy. Downsizing & conscious “editing” cannot be a walk in the park in my mind, rapidly after raising children! There’s some awesome blogs I follow that talk about this very topic. Check out Sarah on Purpose & the Minimalists! Just thinking about cleaning my house stresses me out let alone tackling the mountains of ‘stuff’. You’re post has inspired me a little bit to tackle one pile this weekend. Even if is just something small & insignicanr! Thank you!


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