As I prepare to make the most of the Next 50 Years of my life, I really have to ask myself what do I want to include on my journey to make the most of each day and what is holding me back. Minimalism is quite a popular topic right now. It strikes a chord in so many of us who want more freedom, a more meaningful life, and less attachment to things. Some people may think that being a Minimalist or choosing a more Minimalist lifestyle means living with 100 things or less, giving up computers and TV, or basically living like a monastic. Some people do take Minimalism to this extreme but the heart of Minimalism is keeping what adds value to life and letting go of what does not add value.
Ironically, most of my life I have lived a fairly simple and minimalist life and never realized there was a name for it. At the beginning of the New Year 2013 I was surfing the net when I happened to stumble upon several sites singing the praises of Minimalism as well as a similar topic- the Tiny House Movement. Now, if you have known me for a while you will know that up until 2003 I had never lived in more than 450 square feet and never really put much value in stuff. I had found kindred spirits on the internet, Hooray! Now, if I had just thought to be the first to market this lifestyle (wink and smile). That’s Ok, for now I am happy to work on my ideas of what being a Minimalist means to me and share my thoughts, ideas, and lessons with you via my Minimalist Monday posts.
As I discovered more sites and blogs on the subject of Minimalism I realized that I had a lot of work to do to regain the life I had in y 20’s and 30’s. The loss of my mom in 2003 left me holding a lot of stuff that wasn’t originally mine and not really knowing what to do with it all. I have been saving and holding on to a lot of things from 2003 along with other things I have picked up along the way for way too long now and I am ready to clean house both mentally and physically. It is my hope that through my journey you will find inspiration to look at what is working for you in your life and what you need to toss out or donate.
As we wrap up 2013 and count down to 2014, here are some questions I am asking myself in preparation to make positive decisions about letting of certain items:
- Do I like this item?
- Do I use this item?
- Does this item hold the same value or worth to me as when I first acquired it?
- What does this item really represent to me?
- Can I take a picture of this item to recall the memory? (Thanks for the idea Erin!)
- If I find I need to replace this item can I easily replace it?
- If I were to set this item in the garage for 3 months would I even remember that I have it?
- Are there people who could benefit from or enjoy this item more than I?
- Is there a sense of obligation that keeps me holding on to this item?
- Does this item keep me clinging to the past instead of encouraging me to move forward?
- If someone hadn’t given me this item or if I hadn’t inherited this item would I still want to own it?
- Did I buy this item just because it seemed like a good idea at the time or because I just wanted something decorative to hang on a wall or put on a shelf?
- If I had to move on a short notice would I really want to pack up this item and take it with me?
- If I was called to leave this world tomorrow, how much of my stuff would become someone else’s burden to sift though?
I hope that many of you will join me in this journey of Minimalism as a way of helping to cultivate a more loving, joyous, life. Whether you want to label yourself as a Minimalist or not, looking at your possessions with a critical eye can be an adventure of self discovery and give you more freedom and time to seek adventures in the world as well.
Until next time have a great start to your week and happy first week of Minimalist Mondays!