A few weeks ago, I delivered nine large garbage bags full of (mostly) clothes to a Goodwill truck in my town — a task I had been avoiding for quite some time. I slimmed my closet down to about 1/4 of its original size! The next day, I felt lighter. I felt free’er. More capable of moving, doing, going. I made a pact to continue slimming down my life until I got to the core.
The next week I cleaned out the closet it my mom’s office. Once filled with old papers, college text, and old school supplies I’d never use, I’m happy to announce that this closet has also been slimmed down to its bare necessities — a few “mint” condition folders, utensils, my honors thesis and a few papers I may want to read or show my children in years to come.
My next goal is to rid myself of belongings I haven’t touched in over a year. Compact disks from childhood, my first stuffed animal, and the like. For years I had been so focused on material things, things I could keep, buy, save up for, decorate with, wear, use — rather than places I could go, people I could meet, and things I could do.
My hope is that cleaning out my closets, and slimming down my material life to the core, that is me, will help me move forward, lightly, in exploration of the things, people, and places I don’t need to buy.
*Afterthought — slimming down can also apply to people, conversation, and exploration. Having too many friends that are not adding substance to your life can also be a bog. Its great to have options when you want to go for a drink, but how many of those nights spent in trivial pursuit of connecting with someone you will never connect with, could have been spent conversing with your best friend, your family, or yourself? Strengthening the relationships that mean something to you? How many of those “adventures” to the beach, or the city, could have been spent studying up on something you are truly passionate about? How many “small talks” could have been avoided, leaving space for a conversation you can take something from? I’m not saying become a recluse, but its just a reminder than minimalism can be a way to build stronger connections with the people and things you truly care about, while ridding yourself of the clutter in your life.
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