A few weeks ago I realized just how badly cluttered and full my home (specifically my husband’s and my bedroom) had become. I had so many clothes and shoes, too many purses, loads of jewelry, dozens of books, even some CDs, so many old papers, and a few other items – all of which were completely unnecessary for either of us.
The purging began with the clothes. I purged twelve large garbage bags full of clothes. Then I purged another five or six bags full of shoes and accessories. I sold off all but ten of my books. I threw out five bags of papers clutter. I am going to sell my new empty bookcase. I donated a grocery bag full of jewelry. And after all of that, I have come to realize a few things about myself and about life.
Before purging, I had so many clothes. That was the worst item for me. I loved (and still do love) clothes. If I could wear it, I probably wanted it. My large walk-in closet was stuffed full of clothes, and yet I still wanted more. After purging, my feelings about clothes have changed. I don’t have many clothes, and even better, every time I enter my closet, besides seeing space (!!!) I also see items that I can do without.
Pre-purge I had a bookcase full of books and a few CDs. I had already read or else never would read all those books except for about ten. I realized it was time to sell them, and so I did. Now guess what? Tomorrow I have to clean that bookcase, because it is going on craigslist! 😀
Before purging I always thought of what material item I needed or wanted and how I could obtain it. Now I keep thinking of what item(s) I have that I don’t need, and how I can get rid of it/them. Yesterday I found another large item that is going to be posted on Craigslist.
This “less is more” perspective has starting affecting other areas of my life too. I have gone through my facebook and deleted everyone that doesn’t talk with me as well as a whole bunch of men. I want a modest facebook that is emotionally safe for me. I went from almost four hundred “friends” to two hundred sixty-nine. On there I had liked over one thousand six hundred pages. I unliked all but four hundred five of them. And so it went. I deleted, unliked, and unfollowed on all of my social media accounts. You know how I talked in a recent post about cutting back on my social media time? Well, now I am also trying to minimize how much I post. I aim to post no more than three times per day, less if possible. That has gone along nicely with my overall theme of thinking about what I really need and what is really important.
After listing everything that I have gotten rid of, you are probably wondering what on earth I gained. Most of all, I gained perspective. I realized how few material objects are necessary for a happy life. I was reminded that the important “things” in life are not things at all; they are people and experiences. Port-purge, when I think of getting something, I don’t think of things. Instead of I think of “getting” a new friendship, “getting” a new experience, “getting” new knowledge, “getting” to give, “getting” to help, “getting” to go on a journey… and so on. When I think of a material thing that I need, I think more carefully. I think about how I could do without it. I weigh how important it is. Unlike at the beginning of this process, getting rid of things isn’t emotionally painful. Instead, it feels healing and cleansing.
Even my therapist feels like I have hugely helped myself just by getting rid of things. We tend to project emotions and feelings onto objects. If you don’t believe that, then explain why you can’t bring yourself to get rid of great-grandma Sally’s two hundred year old china that you’ve never used. The more things we have, the more emotional clutter we are surrounding ourselves with. By getting rid of things, I began to learn to ask myself, “What sort of emotional energy does this object bring into my life?” That question is still shaking up my life.
Minimalism is also teaching me not to feel the need to be surrounded by clutter – not only literally, but also in terms of many plans and projects, noise, and wishlists. I am finally free to do what I love the most: relax in my husband’s arms in a clean, neat, minimal home, with hot tea in my hand. Guess what? Those moments can’t be bought. The more clutter – mental, emotional, and physical – that I allow into my life, the harder such moments are to come by.
From minimalism I have gained:
- Mental clarity
- Enhanced inner peace
- Better priorities
- SPACE!!! Oh my gosh. Just, SPACE. The best thing ever haha….
- Cleared energy field
- A tranquil living space
- The realization that I don’t need to be surrounded by things and noise to be fulfilled.
If it doesn’t seem too ironic considering the contents of this post, please allow me to ask you to “like” my Facebook page! 😀