I have finally pinpointed the source of my anxiety and depression, and am taking action to combat it.
In one hand is a trash bag, in the other, a donation box. Bring it on.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Here's to Minimalism!

Last night, around 1:30, I found myself sitting at the computer, plagued by a case of unexpected insomnia. I trolled through forums and posted on Facebook, hoping to tire my mind out and finally get some rest. Eventually I posted this on a few boards....

I've been reading a book on minimalism and decluttering, and now I can literally not fall asleep, my mind is so heavy with all of my STUFF. I've been trying to "declutter" for over a year now, ever since we moved into our current apartment last March. For all of my efforts, it just seems like our stuff grows. I'm fond of saying that "stuff breeds when you're not looking."

The book is The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay, and I'm 45% into it. (Thanks, Kindle, for the percentage!) It is completely changing the way that I view my things. I realize now why I feel stifled, trapped, and bored, even though I'm surrounded by "entertainment" "hobbies" and things that are meant to keep me happy. It's all just stuff, and it's taking up the space in which I should be living my life.

My bedroom is especially horrible. It's the space where things go to die and collect dust. Remember when you were a kid and would shove all those homeless things in the closet or under the bed when Mom came round for inspection? That's my bedroom. It's certainly not conducive to resting or being with one's partner! I was laying there tonight, and the words of this book were drifting through my head as I stared at the shadows of our "floordrobe", the stack of unwanted yet kept junk mail and old bills, books that I've read once and sort of liked, yet mysteriously deserve a place on my shelf....

Weighing even more heavily on my mind were the things I could not see... The ten sets of mismatched and too worn sheets shoved into the hope chest, kept "just in case". The out-of-date handbags and shoes, tucked away into the crevices of my closet. And Lord-Knows-What, stowed away beneath my bed, somehow too precious to be given the boot, and yet I couldn't remember exactly what it was that lurked beneath me.

I'm ready to reclaim my living space. Not so I can fill it up with more stuff  (Though I'll freely admit that it's something I tend to do and struggle with. The one-in, one-out rule gives me moments of panic!) but so that I can go back to LIVING within it! How nice would it be to actually USE my desk as something more than a resting stop? It was intended for crafts, paying bills, and a place to store my (VAST) makeup collection without it cluttering up the bathroom. Now it is covered in unfinished projects, catalogs and junk-mail. My makeup has taken refuge in the bathroom, where there is definitely not space for it. (Thanks to all the other bathroom stuff.) Whenever I intend to do any of those activities, I fish out the supplies and high-tail it to the dining room, where I can work in peace. That's not functional or pleasant to look at!

I am so looking forward to this new project. I'm going to be RUTHLESS. Do I need so many slotted spoons? Spatulas? Measuring cups? Mixing bowls? WHY am I holding onto clothes that don't flatter me? You know the ones. You take them off immediately after putting them on, yet for some reason they are taking up precious space in your closet. Oh, and why do I have bins upon bins of scraps of fabric from old projects?? Even if I were to do something using similar fabric again, I'd just go out and buy a couple yards. It's time to be real about it and RECLAIM that part of my closet...

Here's to clearing out my living space! Here's to minimalism! 

...If nothing else I hope I can at least clear my mind of the cluttered cobwebs and finally fall asleep....

I hope that my journey will be successful. I know that it's going to take some time, and I'll probably make some mistakes here and there. It's hard to say goodbye to things. They hold sentimental value, they could be useful in the future, and we spent our hard earned money on them. It's also hard to stop bringing unneeded things into our homes. There's so much out there that seems like a miracle product or a good deal. There's those gifts, freebies and samples from companies, and well intended gifts. In the end, though, I'm going to have to make the decision to only live with the things that I find to be USEFUL and BEAUTIFUL.

I've decided to chronicle this journey, and share it with all of you. I want to be able to look back and say, "See how far I've come!" It's also my hope that someone out there will be inspired to reclaim their own life and space.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to reading about your journey!