For the last several years I knew that something was really wrong. I always felt overwhelmed. I developed a real dread of cleaning my house, although I always kept it clean and neat. But there was always that unsettling feeling inside of me because of the constant – move it here, put it there, dust it, pack it away, get it back out. Also – what am I going to do with these knickknacks, all these extra mixing bowls, all these extra pans (bundt pans, muffin pans, pie pans, bread pans), ornamental baskets, electric wok, blender, food processor, etc., etc., etc. Then, I came to the conclusion I HAD TOO MUCH STUFF!!! DUH!!!
So, I began to read about minimalism. I have read several e-books, some of which include…
- The Minimalist Woman;
- Living in the Land of Enough;
- Basics of Minimalism: Living with Less;
- Miss Minimalist:Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify;
- Time to Simplify: Practical Minimalism for Living with Less; The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize and Simplify Your Life;
…and many, many more. The most recent was Dr. Robin Zasio’s book, The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life.
Two years ago this month (November) I put myself on a diet, began a program of exercise, and lost 45 pounds. It seemed like as soon as the weight began coming off I was also able to shed stuff. Along with boxes and boxes of clothing that was too large (I went from size 16 to size 8), I have given away boxes and boxes of stuff – kitchen items that I never used, shelves of books that I had read and would, no doubt, never read again, those dust-catching knickknacks and baskets, plastic garbage bags full of yarn that people gave me because they knew that I would take it. (I make prayer shawls, but prefer to buy my own yarn.), boxes of Christmas decorations, and JUST STUFF.
SometimesI wish I had kept a log of everything that went out the door, but I didn’t. And that’s probably good because keeping a log would have been a form of clutter. When I let it go, I let it go.
I found your web site approximately a year ago and have been a regular reader. Last week, I subscribed and now receive daily e-mails.
As with all who are trying to live a clutter-free life, I am a work in progress. I’m so glad that I found your web site. It has been an inspiration for me to not necessarily be a “minimalist” — I don’t like labels — but to just try one day at a time, one item at a time to keep clutter and over-consumption under control.
Thanks to you and all your wonderful readers who post comments. You are an inspiration, and I’m happy to be a part of your community.
The Weekend’s Mini Missions
Saturday – Get rid of something sentimental especially if you have a lot of it. Seriously you don’t have to own something to remind you of every event or period in your life. If it wasn’t significant enough to remember without a prompt then it probably isn’t worth remembering. And if you never look at these items anyway then what is the point. If you feel you need a visual prompt then take a digital photo of it and store that on your hard-drive.
Sunday – Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.