Do I Have to Give Up Everything?

The first intention was to get rid of clutter and clear my mind and my stress level. There was simply too much chaos in my life. Then it became a bit addictive to clear things out and give them away. It felt good knowing that some things that we didn’t need or weren’t being used would be going to a home that most likely would be thrilled with them. As I gave away hundreds of things and threw away truly worn out trash I went to the extreme. Sometimes I threw away sentimental things or even clothes that I wished I had later on. No longer was it simply peace but I was going to the extreme to seemingly fulfill a vision I had. It’s true that if I had my way about it I would be one of those minimalist nomads that travel the unbeaten path and only own what’s in my backpack. I don’t live that kind of life though. I have children both adult and grade school. I have a husband that although he enjoys not having junk around, is simply never going to be a minimalist. Struggle.

To put things in perspective, becoming a minimalist is not about fulfilling an image or creating criteria based upon what other people will think of you. It’s not about being part of a group or giving up everything. I always say that it’s a journey. Sometimes you come back to where you’ve been and you even find different comfort levels. I finally realized that it’s not about the number of pieces of clothing in my closet or a contest to see how much I can get rid of in 30 days. Becoming a minimalist is about keeping only what is important. If something has meaning or function there isn’t a reason to get rid of it. Becoming a minimalist is such an individual adventure. Only you can decide what is right for you. It’s building a life not breaking it down.

We don’t have to give up everything, just the notion that there are rules.