Less Is More

the first step is to let go

There are some things that I hold close.  For instance, I have a shoebox of old birthday cards that my grandparents gave me when I was kid.  I just don’t have the heart to throw them away now that my grandparents are no longer here.  I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to any of my grandparents and now that they’re gone, I can’t seem to part with their handwritten notes.  My Great Great Aunt Em wrote, “Happy Birtsday Sahara” on a little scrap of paper and placed it inside one of my birthday cards.  I kept it even though she spelled my name wrong and wrote the word birthday in her German accent.

In a recent post, Operation: De-Clutter, I expressed a desire to change my environment.  I wrote that I would give away at least one thing each week.  I started in my kitchen and thought about getting rid of about 50 things in a matter of minutes.  It was almost too easy.  I realized that my entire house is full of things that I wouldn’t think twice about putting a box and donating. I felt pang of consumerist guilt.  It was the weepy, heavy-heart kind of guilt.  I have so many things that I don’t need and if it was this easy to let go, why on earth do I have all of this stuff in the first place?  I tried not to picture all of my crap in a landfill – that would have surely thrown me over the edge.

In my pursuit to learn more about living thing-free, I found Courtney Carver’s 25 Reasons You Might Be a Minimalist.  The list made chuckle at first as I read through it (especially #8).  After a second glance, I realized that I may very well be a minimalist at heart.  I don’t want my things to define me.  I don’t want to feel guilty about having stuff that I don’t need.  I would prefer to be free of things so that I can focus on more meaningful moments and experiences.

After thinking this through for a few days I decided it was time to put a plan into action and follow through with my feelings.  My goal is to de-clutter my home and create a new environment that is stress free and minimalistic.  Here’s the simplified plan:

  1. Get rid of (sell, donate, throw away) at lease one thing each day for two months.
  2. No newly purchased things can come home (excluding necessities).
  3. Try a new morning routine that includes eating breakfast and time for walking, yoga, or meditation.
  4. Document my journey with a weekly post on my progress.
  5. Share my plan with my husband, family and friends.

I started Operation: De-clutter on Monday, July 20th and I’ll carry the project to Sept 21, 2015.

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