Project Minimalist

Minimalism is a buzzing word right now. But it’s not a fad. It’s the changing of times. Minimalism is mindfulness. Mindful of your  tangible belongings; clothes, books, old papers, anything taking up space in your life. By bringing awareness to each item you own, you start to realize which items are taking up space in your life and which items are adding substance. Your closet space is too worthy of that sweater you’re not going to wear and your time is too valuable to waste it searching through 50 pairs of shoes just to find the ones you wear every day.
I have always been able to detach myself of things pretty easily… well for the most part. I am lucky in that sense. As a child when I was done with the toy, that was it. After I was done playing with barbies I packed them all up. My sister wasn’t as thrilled since half of them were hers. I had always like to clean and organize my belongs throughout my entire life. When my bedroom was clean and organized it made me feel clear and I was able to relax.
About two years ago I watched the documentary Minimalism. These two guys, Josh and Ryan, gave me a whole new meaning of why having less stuff is so important. Basically, the whole point is all this “stuff” is just a distraction to the true meaning of life. This documentary was eye-opening to me. The less I have around me the more I can enjoy the real reason I am living this life. It sure isn’t because of those boots I am holding on to waiting for a raining day.

Last weekend I decided it was time for a total clear out of all my “junk”. Since moving into my apartment, I realized I am not a minimalist. I had way too much and it was quite distracting. At my office job, my co-worker Lauren, is very big into minimalism and spends most of her day researching, listening to podcasts, and reading books on the top. I used all her knowledge to start my transformation.

The first thing we did was put everything I owned in my living room. It gave me a heart attack to have everything I owned in piles around my house. I like a neat and tidy home. It was very difficult for me to see everything out of place. Lauren then made me touch everything single item. I had to make a decision if I wanted to keep or get rid of the item. If I wasn’t keeping it I then had to decide if it was good enough to sell or donate. If it was ripped or stained I would toss it right away. This entire process took over 5 hours. It was emotionally exhausting. Throughout the day I did have a few breakdowns and feelings of wanting to give up. But I couldn’t because everything I owned was right there in my living room. I had no choice but to keep moving. Finally I finished. Everything was neat and had its own place. I donated/sold 4 garbage bags and threw out four plus bags. I felt lighter. The whole next day I couldn’t stop going into my closet and feeling free of all clutter. This transformation helped to eliminate negative energy around my home. I can honestly say I haven’t missed anything I threw out; nothing has been brought to my attention. I now know where all my favorite things are located and the best part is getting ready in the morning. I am no longer searching through stacks of pants and piles of shoes. I have one items (ish) for everything I need.

The reason I wanted to complete this project for myself was to have less choice in life. Believe it or not but fewer choices is actually linked to a happier life. Life is entirely too busy as it is. If I can find more ways to have less distraction, you better believe I will. Of course it’s not always easy to get rid of those cherished items that hold a lot of attachment. I recommend you having a friend on hand while trying to detach. A friend will keep you on track when you get distracted by the photos and the birthday cards from fifth grade. I promise it may be hard but the peace of mind is worth it all. Tell me if you miss that card in a year.

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