Today I read a little concerning minimalist living! Without realizing, I have lived this way for years. I began simplifying my life years ago, when I first started to understand that we complicate our lives with too much stuff. Clutter is something that can wear on us emotionally.
I even went so far as to rid our home of some cabinet space and drawers. I removed flowerbeds and anything that led to more work for me in the yard. This may seem excessive and seem as if I eliminated beauty in my yard, but to me, it looks great. Minimalist living has various meanings to people and options do come into play.
Letting go is something that we cannot do enough it seems and there are many ways to do this. We can start by looking around our homes and clearing unnecessary items. I have had many yard sales to rid my home of unwanted things. “Out with the old and in with the new” is an expression that cannot be overstated. After each yard sale, I refused to return unsold items to our home; I donated them!
As our home started to resemble a tidy and organized living space, my feelings began to relax. It is simpler to clean and more agreeable to look at too. When I do encounter something that I want, I decide before I purchase the article, if I may be willing to let go later. If my answer is yes then I determine if I really want the item, and why. Is it functional, can I sell it later, for a reasonable return? Is the item something that I may enjoy giving away when I am through with it?
Clutter Can Cause Agitation
My mother was agitated a lot. Once before a yard sale, I visited her to help go through her belongings. As we proceeded throughout her house, I listened to familiar comments. She sounded exactly like me, when I embarked on this idea. “I ought to get rid of this.” “I cannot get rid of this, it was a Christmas present.” “This was expensive, so I should keep it.” “I have had this forever, I had better, hang on to this.” “I forgot I even had this, or why I bought it.”
We cleared drawers, cupboards, and storage rooms. We disposed of clothing, board games, movies, dishes, and many other useful items. We both laughed when mom said, “I had better, keep some of this stuff, because I cannot stand an empty drawer!” Before long while we cleaned another room, she commented how she did want to keep a particular item. “If only I had a place to put it,” she said. Then she remembered that she had an empty drawer in which to put it. After the yard sale, she told me that she had a difficult time, even remembering what she had sold; that is how little the stuff meant to her.
People remark how my house is always clean and some accuse me of being a neat freak. They fail to recognize that my house is simply organized. Mom expressed that someone who sincerely does clean EVERYTHING daily has told her that her house looks, cleaner than theirs. Regardless of how expensive things are, too much stuff in an area is clutter!
There is More than One Way to View Minimal Living
There are many ways to view this idea of minimal living, though, and it may be possible to flow over into extreme living. My grandmother, kept everything to a minimum. So much that she used a wringer washer well into the Eighties! She rarely spent money on anything that she considered frivolous, even though it may save her time. She did save money on her electric bill, by utilizing a lot of her time and energy, though.
Some people have gone bankrupt, because they are unwilling to believe that they can live without cable TV, cell phones, and going out for dinner. Many people live an extreme life and are unhappy or financially pressed. The responsibility of living that is too simplified can stand in our way of progress just as buying all the latest comforts. Therefore, in the end we must be practical and accept that there is a better way sometimes. Perhaps letting go is mental or emotional more than material. The clutter in our thinking works, its way out, into our physical world.
We can clear our closets, drawers and rooms, eliminating some stress. However, unless we change our thoughts, we may reestablish the material clutter over time. Cluttered thinking manifests cluttered living, so we must do more than clear away debris in our homes. We must let go of the notions that more things are better, and that there is never enough. We could end up believing that we cannot keep up with necessities. We must allow ourselves the room for change!