In six days, I will have been a minimalist for two years.
Before I became a minimalist I didn’t think of myself as someone extravagant or someone who stockpiled against future possibilities. I didn’t even intend to become a minimalist in the first place. I intended to write for thirty-one days on the idea of simplifying my belongings. We had moved three times in three years, with a great deal of purging in each move, and we knew our housing situation at the time was temporary.
I was just dang tired of packing and unpacking boxes.
I knew that the idea of less was appealing. What I didn’t know was how much less, how many people would find it odd, and how wonderfully revealing it was to free levels of myself through simply letting things go. The more time I spent researching and thinking and writing and assessing during those thirty-one days, the more I realized that organization wasn’t the answer, nor was closet size, storage space or square feet. In the last four years we’ve lived in the three biggest houses of my lifetime and we have less and want less than ever. What I had been searching for fell under the loose definition of “minimalist.” I jumped in and I haven’t looked back.
In the four years since we’ve moved to Georgia, we’ve discarded literally hundreds of pounds of books, clothes, furniture, toys, electronics, home goods. You name it we’ve purged it. Most we simply drop off at local thrift stores. A few things we have given to friends who we know want them and will use and love them. We’re also pretty good at calling trash trash, and we aren’t afraid to throw it away if it’s simply no longer beautiful or useful to anyone. We’ve disposed of five bookcases worth of books, two dressers and at least one closet full of clothes, chairs, tables and sets of dishes. We even call our sofas disposable furniture since they work beautifully for our family, and we won’t feel like we have to take them with us if we get called away on a grand adventure.
We don’t miss the stuff.
I cannot think of one time I thought to myself, ‘I wish I hadn’t given that away’.
Not even once have a looked at an uncluttered surface or clean wall and thought, “I should get something to go there”
I feel free even though I am constantly explaining that I am not opposed to owning things, merely to the concept of owning things because everyone else has it or wants it. I am not opposed to spending money on something. I am opposed to debt, overspending and waste. I am not an ascetic. I like beautiful things, frittering time away in the hammock, and ice cream, or a glass of wine. I like travel and leaving big tips at restaurants and surprising my kids with small treats. In fact, we have a more fun more often then we ever had with more things.
It’s been a great beginning.
Now after two years it’s time to revisit my lifestyle in writing again. Which is why I will be joining the 31 Day Project.
I’ll be calling my own project: Minimalism HNL (once again that’s ‘hole notha level for those of you just joining us)
Being a minimalist isn’t just about getting rid of things anymore, it’s about what to do with the time, space and money that I have now that those things are gone. It’s also about really examining all the things we still own and care for in order to determine whether or not those things align with our family priorities. It’s time to fine tune and polish. Thirty one days ought to just about do the trick!