Clearing Out

After a rough and grounding week I decided that I needed to make some moves towards a minimalistic lifestyle. I’ve come back to minimalism again and again since I was a teenager. I would purge and then realize I needed something I gave away, get upset, and start gradually accumulating again.

Bringing new possessions into your home seems innocent enough, until they start to cloud your thinking and you realize you’re always misplacing things. I’ve also noticed that when I have more, I feel the need to get more. When I have less, I stop getting overwhelmed by my surroundings and remember that I enjoy to do things like write and read.

Today, I spent much of the day going through my closets. I have three – living room (for sports equipment), bedroom (for clothing and travel gear), and hallway (for household supplies). From my living room closet, I was able to reduce down a lot of my unnecessary paperwork. I condensed everything to one central binder that holds all of my important documents.

From my bedroom closet, I reduced my shoe collection by half (and plan to reduce more). I also went through all of my clothing and sold some items at Buffalo Exchange. I didn’t get much money for them, and it was another great reminder that it’s vital to make smart purchases because you won’t restore the money you spend by selling.

I gave away a lot hobby items – cross stitching and instruments. These are hobbies I wanted to take up but never got around to getting serious about. The objects were making me feel under pressure to enjoy the hobbies more when I did dabble. I had to make a decision as to whether these were hobbies I wanted to continue pursuing, or if I thought the items looked cool or made me falsely feel like I was engaging in those hobbies.

I also got rid of more books. I recently purged about half my collection but it was time again to revisit my book cart since there were a few stragglers. I’m still having a hard time letting go of a pile (probably 20-30) notebooks. I’ll come back to them at another time.

The kitchen is overwhelming so I held off on it. There are cups and pantry items and baking dishes. I plan on replacing my plates, mugs, and bowls with handmade ceramics though so the slow change is fine right now.

Even just today’s work has already alleviated some of my anxiety with my apartment and freed some room for me to think and write this blog post. I want my apartment to be a simple space where I can do yoga, meditate, and spend time writing and reading. With all of these possessions, I’d forgotten the important few things that bring me a lot of joy.

I look forward to getting to know my space again and making it more sacred. The past week has shown me that it is hard to process emotions and circumstances in the flow of daily life. We burden ourselves with so much when we get home from work. It is more critical now for me than ever to give myself room to breathe and grow and sit in silence with less things.