Will You Still Like Me if I Become a Minimalist?

Posted by: Kelly Murphy-Briley

Hi friends!  Been out-of-town enjoying the beautiful
Ozarks for Spring Break, but am now back and I
wanted to add my two cents to a subject I have read
about via internet. There seems to be some talk about
whether a person can keep his/her friends,
and still be a minimalist
. I haven’t really had
any negative feedback, except from folks reacting
by saying they need to get rid of stuff too! (Plus,
they are probably thinking, “It’s about darn time.”)
When I share with others my newfound philosophy
of trying to live simply, not one person has told me
he wishes he had more stuff.
I have always known I wanted to live more simply…
Who do you know that  wants a more complicated life?
Like any great life change, if minimalism is to
work, it has to become a daily thing
.
Little by little, things stay picked up.
Even a 15-minute pick up will help with clutter.

Most people just react to my becoming a minimalist
by saying how much they too, need to sort through
and discard their unused items.   Even in these
tough economic times, it seems EVERYONE
has stuff they need to chunk. But I can speak
only from my American perspective.

For me, the big question, was how did
I get here? How did I accumulate so
much stuff, and why? And how do I
get motivated to get rid of what I don’t
need? One of the things that helped
me deal with those questions, was
to pick a section of the house to work
on each week. I like to clean from the
top down, so I started with the attic.

First, I put a big box, on the ground floor,
right below the attic entrance, and what
I wanted to donate I put in the big box.
Anything I wanted to keep, I put in a
different bag, and later converted to
one of the GIANT ZIPLOCKS. I didn’t
label it, because the fabulous GIANT
ZIPLOCKS are transparent, so there’s
no need to label!  Then, after I had gone
through the attic, I started sorting through
the box.  Anything I thought I could give
to someone I knew, I put in a separate
bag; anything I wanted to donate to
Goodwill, I put in a bag, and immediately
stored in my car trunk. Anything I was
unsure about, I left in the attic, until the
next time I had time to get to it. Then, I t
ook the two bags to my car. I went immediately
to Goodwill, or to the lucky recipient’s abode.
Note that I did this that day, so as not to
create a cluttered car trunk.
Note to self,  tackle the closets.
And as to the why.. I have read people keep
things, and buy things to fill a void. I guess,
having lots of stuff made me feel better
about myself, and richer.
But in the process of accumulating things,
clutter began to become a weight around
my neck. It was like being choked, emotionally.
Not dealing with it was holding me back from
the changes I need to make.
I had heard people say how “freeing” it
was to give stuff away, get rid of things,
and live with less. Yeah, yeah, yeah……..
Until I experienced that feeling it was hard
to explain or understand. Once you do,
it is a good feeling!  This is not to say I
had never donated anything, but it had
just been easier to write a check.  But that
‘feeling’ did increase my motivation.
As for the psychology of it, I guess I selfishly
became a minimalist to make myself feel
better.  I also do nut want to leave a bunch
of stuff for my family to have to sort through,
if something were to happen to me.  I  didn’t
want them to experience added stress that
coping with my lose would bring.  Discarding
unused items the beginning of my minimalism,
but my learning why I have to keep what I have,
will  help me keep stuff to a minimum.
The trick, I think, is to live with only what
you need and really love.
And if there is truth
to what I have read about clutter stunting creativity,
then I am hoping to become more creative along my journey.

That will hopefully help me keep the friends I have, and develop some new  friendships as well.
So, what about you? What is your most annoying clutter challenge?
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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Do You Have Your Stuff or Does It Have You? « mooving2minimalism
  2. marv53
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 03:55:02

    Materialism eventually controls your life. To shed the collection of unnecessary stuff has to be liberating. Your blog is motivating and makes me want to lighten my load. Not necessarily to live in a cardboard box, but to feel the freedom of less. Lose friends for that, oh well!

    Reply

    • mooving2minimalism
      Mar 23, 2011 @ 14:09:57

      Marv53, I agree! Materialism can definetely be life-controlling, as can consumerism. Thank you for the compliment about my blog! I’m with you. I don’t want to live in a cardboard box, but- yes, there is a freedom to having less. And yes, if you have to lose friends over that, it may be time for some NEW FRIENDS! Feel free to share your thoughts anytime~

      Reply

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