I recently started reading about the idea of minimalism and found it quite fascinating. I came across the website ‘The Minimalists‘ and read for awhile about what minimalism is and different ways to carry out a more minimalistic lifestyle.
The authors of the website, Joshua and Ryan, briefly explain Minimalism as:
“a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.”
Could it really be possible that having too much stuff makes us stressed out and possibly feel overwhelmed at times? I know it does for me! And something crazy to think about is this: most of us spend a good portion of our lives working and paying for things we can’t even enjoy because we may lack the free time to do so. I love the idea that eliminating extra things from our life can help us free up time and money to spend on what really matters to us, adding value to our lives in a way that mere stuff can’t.
I realized I could afford (haha) a little minimalism in my life, and I set out on my first task last weekend. I read about this minimalism game where you get rid of one thing on the first day of the month, two on the second, three on the third, and so forth. By the end, it gets tougher and tougher as you start having to get rid of many more things; it ends up being a total of 465 items!!
I thought I’d try and do as much as I could in one day.
I headed back to my dad’s house, where a lot of my stuff is being stored (really all the stuff from my old apartment that I didn’t need on the island over the summer and everything from my childhood!), and I went to town.
I didn’t count, but I managed to get rid of A TON of things. I just kept reminding myself how irritating clutter can be while I added endless items to the giveaway bag and the trash.
I also asked myself the following questions to help in situations where I was a little torn:
1. When was the last time I used this?
Obviously it really depends greatly on the item, but if I’ve gone several months or years without using or needing this item, it was usually out the door. Unless maybe it’s a first aid kit and not using it makes you cry,
…and then you still keep it on hand.
2. Do I see myself using this anytime soon?
Chances are, you probably won’t. Some things are just a thing of the past, and that’s a great thing. Trust me. It was in the case of my stained white flat-brimmed hat that I never really wore.. except for in these selfies from 10th grade:
…I’m still laughing. What was I thinking?!
3. Is this item really adding any value to my life?
I know that necklace and poster I made when I was little was SO CUTE and took SO MUCH TIME to make, but it really doesn’t do anything for me now. And neither does that cute little mini bag I crocheted so I could keep all my pens and pencils right next to my bed for some intense journaling and diary-filling activities. I’m all about keepsakes, but I realized I’ve maaaybe been a little bit hoardy in some ways (no, not horny, although when you say it fast, it does kind of sound like that, haha).
I definitely want to go back again soon because I didn’t even bust open the doors of my closet where this kind of stuff may possibly fall out on me:
…these things are still going to be worth loads of cash someday, right?!
You can also visit this page from Becoming Minimalist for more ideas on how to declutter your life. The author offers various creative ideas on how you can start eliminating unnecessary stuff from your life right away!
How about you? What do you think about minimalism?
When’s the last time you had a declutter day or would you be interested in playing the minimalist game I mentioned?