I learned from an early age that my stuff had to have a place. I think I learned the power of order and simplicity out of necessity ; I cannot live in clutter. If I do, I find that my mind feels equally cluttered. I have dreams of traveling the world, of having no belongings except what are absolutely necessary. But then, I peek into my closet and change my mind.
When I went to Ecuador last summer, I contemplated how glorious it would be to contact my family and tell them to get rid of all my stuff while I was gone. But then came the, “well, all except my books… and all my writing and pens… oh and my clothes…” The truth is – I don’t know what to do except dream. I can decide to just do it, but I’ve decided so many times now; it just won’t move. Funny how stuff is that way.
I have three things I care for the most and make endless excuses for: my books, my clothes, and my papers. My books are my pride and joy; they seem to be something impossible for me to turn down. My clothes are one way I express myself. I worry that if I aggressively attack them I will lose that. Plus, I love lots of colors. My papers have always been my weakness. I was known as a child to write on little bitty pieces of paper, fold them into even teenier pieces, and forget them about the house. Besides this, I write all my stories on paper and they’re like children.
We all have those things we can’t think of parting with, and what do we do? I love Joshua Becker’s book, The More of Less. The title itself is powerful. As Mr. Becker says, minimalism will look differently for everyone. Not everyone was meant to have just one suitcase. Truthfully, I would like to be one of those one suitcase people; I imagine the freedom of no stuff. However, I also know it’s a journey, a journey I’m still on. A journey that we can share together, in the ups and the downs.
For years I have been gathering questions to ask myself when I’m trying to get rid of things, and I would love to share them with you. Please leave your thoughts in the comments; I would love to hear about your journey and minimalism (even if you’re just starting!) and I’m hoping then to share some of your thoughts in a future post, along with what I’ve been learning.
Questions to ask
1. What purpose is this serving?
2. Do I like this?
3. Would I really care if I never saw this again?
4. Does this complicate my life?
5. Would I buy you again? If I was in a store right now, would I think you were worth having?
“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value the most and the removal of anything that distracts us from them. It’s for everyone that wants more out of less.”