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.