minimalism Musings

Attempting to Become a Minimalist

Here’s a deep-rooted confession: I want to be a minimalist. The concept has appealed to me since around 2010 or 2011, when I dated a guy who practiced minimalism. He taught me the value of having less, and it’s a lesson for which I’ll be forever grateful. By having less possessions, he was able to take regular trips around the U.S. and the world, worry free. The money much of us spend on material goods and possessions he saved, and some of it, he spent on travel.

By all accounts, I’m no minimalist at the moment. But, compared to years and days past, I’m much more minimalistic than I used to be, and I inch closer to my goal every day. This week I’ve re-started my journey toward minimalism. I began with the closet in my home office, a space that is mostly comprised of keepsakes and hobby supplies at the moment. I figured this would be a solid start – if I can tackle this space and pare it down significantly, I’ll be giving myself a great start.

My progress? I’ve taken four boxes down to one small one, and found a few items I’m excited to display or share with others.

What is a minimalist?

If you’re not sure – what is a minimalist? Basically, it’s someone who actively works to reduce the amount of things they own. Ideally, you only have a minimal amount of things around you – including furniture, keepsakes, wall hangings and everything in between. Important keepsakes are displayed and used, instead of being hidden away to be looked at once a decade. Otherwise, those items are looked at critically to be kept or otherwise recycled, donated, given to another who may cherish them or find them actively useful.

Items such as beauty products are given the heave-ho except for those that you use daily. No saving things for a rainy day. Give them to someone who will use them, or if they should be thrown out, get to it.

Minimalism appeals to me on so many levels. I’ve practiced it on the fringes for years, and pared down methodically from what could have been a catastrophic need to save everything after both my parents died. I’m proud of that, and even more proud that I’m continuing this journey. That’s not to say I’m going extreme – I do want art hanging in my home, family keepsakes to flip through now and again, and a choice of clothing when the time arises. But, the extras and items living in storage boxes? They’ve got to go, and this is the year it’s happening.

I’ll keep you posted here. And if you’ve done this or embarked on a minimalism quest, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

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