Have you ever looked around at your stuff and wondered, “What if I were to get rid of it all?” I have. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been seriously thinking about getting rid of everything.
Okay, not everything. Just a lot of things. I’ve actually been lurking around the idea of minimalism for quite a while now… for years, in fact. I’m now realizing that it’s time to do it.
I look around at things I don’t need and will never use, and I’m thinking, why is that stuff still here?
I write a post about a falling-apart article of clothing, and I’m thinking, why am I so attached to it?
Knowing, right, how ridiculous it is. For one thing, as a Buddhist, I’m fully aware that attachment to material things makes no sense at all.
I’d thought about it before, but I really started to feel the pull toward minimalism since that post about the ancient sweater I couldn’t trash. That was back in February. I wrote that post. Then I wrote the KSJO t-shirt post. Then I had to sit and examine my life choices.
I should just get rid of stuff.
Why do I develop emotional/sentimental attachment to things?
One part of my mind says “keep this” as another part says “but why.” It mostly boils down to sentimentality and “I would want this if….” But what I want more, now, is to break away from such attachments.
Three months after the sweater post, I took my first step in the minimalism direction when I overhauled my office to create as empty and blank a space as possible. Now I’m looking around wondering how I can empty the space even more. I’ve discovered that my creative energy has more freedom to flow in the absence of physical distraction.
Now it’s three months post-office-overhaul, and I’m ready for the next step. This is how I know I’m not making an impulsive decision. I tend to make big lifestyle changes slowly, in increments. (Have I ever mentioned that going vegan was a six-year process for me?)
There are degrees of minimalism, and the degree I’m going for isn’t a drastic one. I don’t aspire to a life that can fit into two suitcases, but I do plan to pare things down much as possible. I should add that I’m talking about my personal possessions, not household-type items.
Too, there are categories of things I won’t touch. At this time, anyway, I won’t even consider getting rid of books. I have books in three different rooms, on shelves, in closets, on the floor. There are hundreds of them, and they’re staying right where they are. I won’t violate my book collection with minimalism.
We’ll see how things progress from here!