As a reformed hoarder, I know all too well how valuable stuff can be. Everything has sentimental value. Everything has a purpose and while you may not use it everyday, wear it everyday, or even look at it everyday… there will be a time when you will need that thing.
Things pile up. Decor becomes cluttered. Life quickly becomes clostraphobic.
I loved a freshly cleaned house.. a freshly cleaned made bed…an organized countertop… that short lived moment when everything was in order… then I was forced to go about my day. Messing it I all up. Because when you have too much stuff, it’s impossible to keep it all organized! Dishes, laundry, school work, paintings, knickknack, plants, books, stuff…
My college roommates would jokingly tell me I would be on buried alive someday. (I wasn’t that bad… luckily I caught myself early.) It was hard to get rid of things. All these were my things. Things I had acquired over the years. Things that held a deeper meaning. Things might someday need.
It started with them helping me go through my piles of clothes. Clothes I was collecting and holding onto since grade school! Not to mention all the stuff I accumulated with my employee discount at Macy’s. It was a tough task for sure and I didn’t always feel better after. Sure, my room was cleaner and my stuff was organized. I could sit in my room, relax, and breath in the natural clean light… but maybe, just maybe, I needed that oversized black and white polka dot raincoat that fit two people in a climate that didn’t see much rain!
My room stressed me out. The house stressed me out. Sitting and relaxing was not relaxing at all. Except for those times it got so bad, that it had to be cleaned! There were a lot of those times and for those few hours afterwards, all was well. It wasn’t until I moved, that I was forced to look at all this stuff. I moved across the country and had nothing to do, didn’t know anyone, so it made sense to spend my time going through all the boxes full of things! Unpacking and putting things in their “place”. Or what I had started challenging myself to do- make its “place” good will.
I would hold two articles of clothing up- which one did I like better? Toss the other! I had to categorize them. I couldn’t compare a pair of jeans with a t shirt. So I put them in like piles and sorted them that way. I think it’s easier to start with clothes. It’s like the gateway “thing” to minimalism.
It was a slow process. One garbage back here and one box there. I developed (over the course of 3 years) a liking to simplifying my stuff. I didn’t need much stuff I realized. With less stuff, I found myself doing other things and became a much happier person. I gave myself some breathing room to figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like, since I didn’t have all the stuff to keep me preoccupied. I think its a habit more people should pick up!
It only got better when my then boyfriend, now husband and I decided to move into a fifth wheel. With less that 300 square feet, we couldn’t possibly bring all those things that piled up in our house! It was time to get rid of all of it! Ok, we couldn’t quite do that… at least not yet… we put a good chunk of it in a storage unit where it collected dust for 2 years. Once day we decided it was time to get rid of it! So we did! We kept a few paintings that are easy to travel with. Other than that, we had a mass cleaning and again it felt so freeing! Everything we owned could fit on the back of the truck. The possibilities opened up for us!
It’s hard to put into words how great shedding all your things can be. It’s freeing. It’s lightens your burden. It’s less stressful. It’s happier. Without the things to fill our happiness, we turned to activities and memory making. It’s really crazy how much and how many things don’t matter at the end of the day. We kept the things that bring us together and keep us happy.. like our mountain bikes, french press, and the pups! And all their toys of course- we want them to be happy too!
I hope you can implement a little bit of this into your life. Get rid of some of those things that are just weighing you down. You might think you’ll miss them, but you probably wont. If you do, get another one. There are no rules to living simply. Just that you shed the things you don’t need. What ever that looks like for you, I promise, life is so much happier when you have less stuff.
I will say- the key to living simpler is… just starting. Pick one area and start getting rid of things that are cluttering your life. It’s hard at first, but the feeling of simplicity will quickly become addicting! I promise!
Please feel free to ask my any questions and let me know how your simple living project is going! 🙂