Tag Archives: minimal

We’re All Minimalists

I was talking with family the other day about my use of minimalist principles in my life and how much doing so has changed me over the past few years.

“Truthfully, I believe we’re all minimalists,” I said.

I went on to explain how we all have our favorite possessions: a handful of favorite clothes, favorite shoes, favorite jewelry, favorite hair/makeup routines, favorite pieces of technology that get most of our use, favorite bands/CDs/records, and even favorite meals that we prepare.

All minimalism does is calls us to have those favorites be in the forefront at all times, never getting pushed to the side by the mounds of clutter that creep into our homes, slowly taking over our spaces and lives.

Instead of feeling trapped by all the “stuff” around you, the “stuff” that prevents you from getting to spend the majority of your time indulged in the few favorite items that bring you the most pleasure, why don’t you consider becoming one of the brave ones?  Make the tough choices to eliminate the clutter that doesn’t bring you joy during this way-too-short period we have on this gorgeous planet.

Truthfully, based on my experience, you probably won’t even miss the cast-offs.

I honestly can’t recall a single thing I wished I had held onto during my bouts of decluttering.

And it’s funny how things change; I’ve reduced my possessions by about three-quarters, and instead of looking around and asking myself where everything went, I find myself remarking on how much there is still left to be rid of.  I know if most people saw my house, cabinets, and closets, they’d think of me as a crazy person for saying such a thing.

It’s OK, though.

My life is changing.  My goals are changing.  My definition of happiness is changing.

And my lust for life becomes more ardent with each passing day.

Again, we’re only here for such a short time.  So why should we allow ourselves to be bogged down by the things that not only don’t bring us joy, but also take joy from us?

Let your inner minimalist come out.  I promise, you won’t regret it!

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Personal Manifesto

Today is the day.

It’s time for me to get my life together.

I’ve been pussyfooting around for months now when I’ve known, all along, the things that I’m capable of.  I can achieve greatness, so why waste time being so sluggish about it?

I’m going to start eating better.  Today begins my 3-day fast: a fast from wheat, dairy, sugar, and meat to kick-start my body.  After that, it’s moderation from then on out, while still striving to avoid the foods that are poison.

No more laziness with my body.  I will start exercising 4-5 days per week and spend time in prayerful meditation daily.

I will get back on my novel.  It needs me to finish it.  I will finish it.

I will continue to eliminate the unnecessary from my life.  I’ve done extremely well with this endeavor so far.  I will keep up the pace, attacking the areas that are more difficult with a vengeance.  My world needs to represent my life now.  I will not have my home be a museum of my life or let the past’s junk define me.  It’s difficult enough trying to find out who I am and where my place is without having to trudge through the reminders of yesterday, telling me who I used to be.  I don’t owe the past anything.

I will press on toward my goals.

Today begins the rest of it all.

Today is the day for change.

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Impulse Buys

I did a bad thing.

I bought too many new clothes.

I was in desperate need of some new attire and found myself with a little extra cash.  So, with Summer well underway, I decided to go ahead and spend a little money.  Needless to say, I was a wee bit over-zealous.

I’ve gotten in this habit recently of saving my new purchases for a few days before using/wearing them, so that if I experience buyer’s remorse, I can just take them right back to the store.  No harm, no foul.

Thankfully, I did the same thing this time–minus a couple of items that I knew I would keep. I returned around 5 of the articles of clothing.

I’ve been really trying to only buy things that fit into my current life and aren’t just physical manifestations of–what miss minimalist calls–my fantasy self.  I realized that a few of my recent purchases were just that.  They were items that I simply found cute or pretty; things I would have loved to see myself wearing, but knew that they would just end up getting shoved to the back of my closet.

It felt good to return them.  And responsible, I might add.

Also, in the not-so-very-distant past, my boyfriend happened to win a drawing for a $1,000 gift card to a massive shoe store where we live.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This is a minimalist’s dream come true as well as worse nightmare.

See, I would finally be able to spend more money than I normally would when I needed a decent new pair of kicks, without my frugal self feeling guilty over the purchase.

BUT….

That also meant I would have more of a tendency to go on random shoe-shopping sprees, throwing caution to the wind, because–since it wasn’t my money–I had no reason to feel guilty for my many unnecessary purchases.  And I have to add, when it’s not my money, I have a much harder time deciding if I really need the item or not.

I fell into the trap a couple of times; which, thankfully, the purchases I made were actually shoes that I am wearing a lot of these days.  However, there was one pair in particular I spent far too much money on that I ended up returning because I just realized, after I got them home, that they just weren’t a pair I really needed or would probably ever even wear frequently.  Thank you, buyer’s remorse!

Just a little confession from a budding minimalist today, in hopes that I can help someone else not make the same mistakes by reading about mine.

And I do encourage you all to hold on to your new purchases for a bit before removing those tags.  Sometimes you just don’t think you’ll become so quickly detached from an item you just couldn’t live without only moments before.

Also, attempt not trying things on or picking things up that you don’t already have in the forefront of your mind as things you are seeking.  Those stylish mannequins and perfectly lit fitting rooms are just ploys to snatch your attention, causing you to fall for things you might have otherwise never even thought about.

Good luck, minimalist shoppers!

And may the force to refuse and purge be with you!

(Note: Upon bringing home my new purchases, I went through my wardrobe and was able to pick a couple of shopping bags full of items to donate or sell.  Can’t bring something in without tossing something out!)

Have you ever made an impulse buy that led to regret and a set-back in your progress towards minimalism?

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Heirlooms

I just finished reading Living Simply Free’s blog post on Heirlooms and am reminded of an issue that I’ve been mentally avoiding for some time now.

I’m definitely not wanting to have all my parents belongings passed down to me when the time comes. Luckily, my mother is working towards being more minimalistic and attachment-free with her home and possessions these days, so she may be letting me off the hook in most areas.

However, her mother–my granny–used to paint. My family has several of her oil paintings displayed around our homes, and that is one thing that my mother will never get rid of. Nor should she!

I just think about the possibility of something happening to her and me being responsible for several rather large items with EXTREME sentimentality attached to them. What will I do? How will I react?

Most people would think I’m crazy for even starting to have anxiety about this issue. They would gladly take these heirlooms from their parents, but I’m not like everyone else. I just see these paintings as objects I would worry over during the event of a storm or other natural disaster, possibility of a house fire (heaven forbid), them getting damaged in a move, etc. etc. etc….

Sigh.

I’m open to advice or suggestions in this situation–whether it be how to deal with the anxiety over the paintings, or what to do with them when the time comes.

And, please don’t get me wrong.  I don’t worry over this to the point of losing sleep or anything.  The thought just crosses my mind from time to time and I feel like it’s something I should stop avoiding and start mentally preparing for.

HELP!

Have any of you ever had heirlooms passed down to you that you would rather not have the burden of dealing with, or will you one day?   Are you having a difficult time releasing heirlooms due to sentimentality?

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It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer.

–William Occam

WO

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