Minnimalism {Part 1}



I have an issue.

A deeply rooted issue.

And the first step... was admitting that indeed had, said issue.

I consider myself HALF HOARDER and HALF PURGER. But those hoarding tendencies are vicious and loud. It's almost an addiction.

Now, I'm not the person on the television shows. There is not food laying around. And there aren't mountains of piled up crap everything. I like to keep a tight ship and a clean house. And I also like to collect things. In an orderly fashion, of course.

I never wanted to admit I had an issue. But I loved collecting things. I kept everything in a semi-orderly fashion. I knew where everything was. But my collections just kept growing and growing. And I had very strong emotional bonds to THINGS. It was beginning to get out of control.

And through the course of life, we just so happened to end up moving 10 times in the past 8 years. Which has inadvertently forced me to get rid of belongings each and every time we needed to move. It was hard every time but I also still hung on to most of my things. And since my husband took the grunt of actually MOVING all of my boxes of "things," it never really struck me how much I had actually accumulated over the years.

I remember when we were staging our house for sale. I had to almost take everything out of our rooms and pack it up for the pictures and for showings. And it was so nice. Like my home actually felt and looked really beautiful. Like a home I would want to move into. And I just so happened to find this article at the exact same time and it was my first glimpse into this "minimalist" lifestyle. It totally intrigued me. But also felt so out of reach. It talked about staging my home for LIFE and creating the atmosphere you want to live in with freedom.

A couple years went by. I would go through the Goodwill drive- through every couple of week and donate a bag.

And then park and go in with the kids and walk out with a bag of newly purchased items.

A sick cycle. I hate to admit this.

In the big scheme of things, I had really cut down on our belongings but it was still overwhelming. There was too much stuff.

And somehow (meaning God placed it back into my existence), this whole "Minimalism" concept popped back up in my life again in the part several months. Only this time, I really started to dig in.

This is what I happened upon and I was diggin' it.

These "Minimalist" seemed so real and raw. And they had so much information easily laid out for me. I started reading some introductions to the lifestyle and then decided to take on the challenge.

I took their 21 Day Challenge (and am still working on it.) And I dug deep. There was so much that made sense to me. Talking about WHY we hold on to THINGS. And what can happen when we get rid of the CLUTTER and release the things that hold us captive. This journey had me walking through daily steps to live a more clutter-free life.

Through this journey of mine, I realized I am a hoarder for 2 main reasons. (I'm sure there are many things that lead to it but these were two that made a lot of sense and I felt a stronghold from.)

1. I keep things because I have an emotional attachment to it. I am very sentimental so most items hold a memory to me. And if anything is a gift, I cannot bear to part with it. Partly because of its meaning and the thought from the person who gifted it to me and part because I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings if they ever discovered I had gotten rid of their gift.

2. I keep things "just in case." I am a HUGE "just-in-caser." Oh, I might need this in the future. This sweater might come back into style 7 years from now. The kids might want to play with this someday. I have a justification for everything.

And I just so happened to run across 2 articles from the Minimalist website that directly addressed these two issues.

Letting Go of Sentimental Items

Getting Rid of Just-in-case Items

These both helped me tremendously. And showed me that I have created a cycle of clutter in not only my physical realm but my emotional state as well. I had this pattern of purge and collect and it would prove to not easily be broken.

To any first timers into this Minimalism lifestyle- it can seem VERY drastic. But the main point remains (straight from the Minimalist website):

"Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom."

And it really makes me dwell on this sections of scripture:

Matthew 6:19-21  (ESV)


19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Maybe you find yourself in a similar place. This place of constriction and "overwhelmingness" And maybe, just maybe, you could find some freedom through this method. Because what we alter in the physical can have huge impacts in our spiritual, mental and emotional well-being too. Maybe this could be a gateway to finding that open door to pursue your passion and chase your dreams. Maybe this is what could make a difference.

{Part 2 on tangible steps I began taking and how I am approaching the Minimalist lifestyle coming NEXT WEEK.}