I have been very intrigued recently with the idea of living a minimalist lifestyle. I wonder however, if I could possible pull it off. Although I am starting to love “things” less and less, I still think it would be a difficult transition for me to give up everything all at once. Is it possible to be a partial-minimalist? Or a lazy-minimalist? Maybe it would be okay to adopt portions of the minimalist lifestyle at first. Sort of like a baby-step type of situation. I am not big on New Years Resolutions, but I have committed myself to at least try and be a “beginner minimalist” for a year and see how far I go. Maybe this will be something I can embrace fully… maybe this is something I adopt partially… either way, I don’t think it can hurt to at least try.
The decision to consider a minimalist lifestyle came about when doing research on getting out of debt. I’ve had a large amount of debt for a very long time. I’ve recently had my “sick and tired moment” when it comes to my finances. I make a pretty decent living and yet I never seem to have any money left after paying all my bills and monthly living expenses. I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck. So here we sit, at the start of my debt free journey, considering minimalism as part of the equation to get me to my goals.
I find the idea of simplifying life very intriguing. Being someone that deals with pretty severe anxiety as well as traces of ADD and OCD, the idea of a much simpler life sounds amazing. Part of living a simpler life involved not buying so much STUFF. Not only does it involve not bringing in more stuff, but also removing the clutter of the stuff we already have. And this is my friends is my commitment to the my minimalist lifestyle. I am going through my life and simplifying and decluttering.
WE HAVE TO MUCH STUFF!!
Step one? Clothes. We live in what I call a tiny house. It’s a small 750 square foot home with 1940’s style closets (in other words.. no space). Yet, I have managed to pack in so many items of clothing in this tiny closet that I can hardly tell what I even have anymore. I actually end up wearing the same thing over and over again because I tend to just pull out whatever is in front. I can not say that I am ready to try the “33 items of clothing for 3 months” strategy. What I will do is agree to empting my closet by at least 20 items (as I said earlier, baby steps). Included in this purge will be my dresser. Does one person really need 30 pair of leggings and sweatpants with coordinating t-shirts (I wear these as pajamas and usually change into my “casual” clothes as soon as I walk in the door after work, which is how I have justified my need for such a ridiculous amount)? As you may notice from the pictures, my dresser is so packed that it is actually flowing over and I have to stack things on top. 5 years ago, this would have zero affect on me. Today, when I walk by this exploding dresser, it causes me stress. I don’t like having so much “stuff” that it’s spilling out all over my home.
With all that being said, why haven’t I simply gone through and gotten rid of things? The simple answer would be that it frankly is hard for me. I cannot explain why I feel the need to have all of this. If I had to justify the reasoning behind having all of these “things”, I can honestly say I couldn’t do it. Yet, when it comes to letting it go, I feel protective and defensive over my “stuff”. It’s the oddest thing.
Step #1 in progress. Step #2 is going to be going through all the miscellaneous items I have around the house that I really don’t need or care about. Those are next on the list of items that must go.
I guess ultimately we are all works in progress and this is just the next step in my journey of learning to live a happier and more productive life. As it says above, it’s time to start collecting moments instead of things. Life is so short…. are the pajamas really that important?
(any suggestions from anyone that has been through this journey are much appreciated and welcomed)