Sometimes the phrase minimalism sounds a little weird to me. I enjoy owning my iPhone and MacBook and cute shoes. I love my kitchen-ware items. My favorite thing in our apartment is a pretty little blue cabinet that holds our Smallville, Chuck, and Friends TV series. I love the books that have shaped my spirituality and character.
So when I see these writings on minimalism and packing all your stuff in a box and throwing away anything you don’t use in four weeks… I kinda shrink back. It makes me nervous. The phrase for me is, if you will, slightly daunting.
But there’s another factor: we’re aiming to pay off all my student loans. So then of course we just started selling things… Books I haven’t read a second time, movies we don’t really care about and just kept as a part of the collection… Clothes I don’t even like to wear anymore. Making the choice to sell that extra stuff was not hard for me. I do not want to be in debt. Getting free money is awesome and easy. So to Bookman’s, half price books, and plato’s closet we went.
But then I started to recognize something. I felt better when we were selling stuff… I was not even missing anything we had sold. I hardly knew it was gone! My life started to feel just a little bit… Lighter.
Something that was hard for me was when we couldn’t sell something I just wanted to keep it. And I did this quite a few times… The clothes and books they wouldn’t buy… I was like if I can’t make money off of it, I might as well keep it! And then of course, it would be completely neglected. Never touched. Left hanging in the closet not worn. Over stuffing my dresser drawers. Filling out movie shelf.
I suddenly realized how stupid it was! These things are taking up space and stressing me out. Also. OTHER PEOPLE NEED CLOTHES. And here I am hoarding all I own! Things I don’t even need or like that much… Ridiculous.
We had two sets of silver wear in our drawer. One was a temporary set from my grandma that was probably 50 years old. The other was one from our wedding registry. That tangled metal mess drove me crazy every time I opened the drawer. So one day, I just took it out. Hid the extra set in the pantry. Bethany had been telling me how her next project was doubles and getting rid of second sets that aren’t needed. We left that silver wear hidden… And it felt better. And we didn’t need it. So we donated it. And it was really that simple.
Now I just pull things every once in a while. Rack through the movies and books, decide what I don’t absolutely love, and tuck it away in the laundry room until we decide it’s time to take a trip to sell and donate it. We try to sell before we donate and then we just donate the remainder.
Seriously, my life feels cleaner. My closet is less stressful for me to walk through. The kitchen is easier to breath in. The living room looks nicer as we donate games and puzzles we’ve never touched.
I’m thinking that minimalism is more about your personal threshold and what you need. I might need something that is completely useless to you, and vice versa. It just feels like cleaning up to me. And only holding on to the things I love. It’s a little bit like relinquishing control. I’m a bit of a type A personality so letting go of being in control is a healthy exercise.
Reduce. Lessen. Decrease. Diminish. Slash. Prune.
Clean up your home, little by little. You’ll feel the difference and it’ll only make you want to give more. Excess doesn’t fill the heart. Things aren’t what bring us satisfaction. The love in our homes is what makes it a home…not all the other things that clutter up our space.
Proverbs 15:6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings ruin.
Proverbs 15:16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil. 17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.