As a child I was constantly either rearranging the furniture in my room or changing the display of one of my prized collections. Not that I was focused on cleaning, but from early on really enjoyed the re-organizing of my things. Particularly just prior to birthdays or holidays when I was anticipating needing room for adding more. As I grew older of course the accumulation of things just continued. Somewhere deep inside I think I wanted my surroundings to feel simpler,but I still kept trying to accomplish this by re-organizing (i.e. hiding the excess in yet a better set of boxes or bins).
In 2003, I discovered a book by Karen Kingston, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, I picked up the book thinking Feng Shui sounded like yet another great way to organize and found instead an inspiration to start releasing some of the stuff. At this point I was on my 9th home in as many years. I had wised up on a few of those moves and jettisoned some of the unnecessary, but, I looked around my home then and saw all the boxes of stuff that just kept moving from home to home, even across the country, A year later when I made a drastic change in my life, I moved with only what would fit in the trunk of my mid-sized car. It was incredibly freeing. When I arrived at my temporary home, I reviewed what remained of my books, clothes and other treasures and removed a good portion more. The only problem was, my motivation revolved more around letting go of an old life rather than making conscious choices for a better life. So of course shortly after settling down in a permanent place, I began the re-accumulation of all the stuff I thought I needed. Doesn't every single female need dishes to serve 8? And muffin tins when she never bakes?
For several years I continued in the cycle of consuming and organizing. Hoping for the clean, serene look I saw in pictures of homes I loved, but never connecting the dots on how to get there. In 2013 a friend shared a post (below) on Facebook that truly brought about change in me. That post drove me to the website Becoming Minimalist by Joshua Becker and from there my journey to minimalism began. I learned that while minimalism looks different for everyone, you never really "arrive".
Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
There are many flavors of minimalism: a 20-year-old single guy’s minimalist lifestyle looks different from a 45-year-old mother’s minimalist lifestyle. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.
Getting started is as simple as asking yourself one question: How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?
Minimalism is an ongoing commitment to choosing less to accomplish more. To me this is a commitment that is well worth pursuing.