Perhaps you are like me, finding items in your closet you forgot you had, and have since purchased again because you forgot and lost what you had?! Or, have you ever been unable to find what you know you have because you have so much?! If either of these examples create angst in you, it just may be time for minimalism.
Minimalism has more than one definition. The definition I ascribe to is to have only what you need, want, and use. My definition is not about deprivation, small houses, or being miserly. The focus of Minimalism brings one face to face with excess. Some of what I want (not need, and I am clear about the difference) is excessive to others. I have entirely too many sets of china, and I do not cook or entertain enough to keep them all. But I keep them for other reasons, mainly emotional ones, and I am not ready to change that.
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I have, however, made a decision that moves me closer to where I want to be related to minimalism. Before I bring any more china in, regardless of how beautiful it is, how much I want it, or how well priced it is, I will get rid of at least an equal amount of what I already have. Also, I must have the china where I can see it, find it, and use it, for if it is hidden in a cabinet or closet, I “lose” it. if it is lost, it is no good to me; I am only storing it.
My move toward minimalism started by the inspiration of a friend, Leah Friedman, owner of Raleigh Green Gables. Leah is a professional organizer, but of a different nature than most other organizers I have known. Leah’s focus does not include buying more bins to put more stuff in. Her focus is to help you get rid of unnecessary stuff, and you determine what is unnecessary, not her, although she can play strong arm on this! Leah inspired my journey in this change.
Joshua Becker is a guru in the Minimalism arena and has online courses and articles on this topic. His latest book is The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own. His writings are inspirational and practical, and help on the journey of living with less and living more mindfully. Becker states, “We are dedicated to rational minimalism and discovering what that uniquely means for us.”
During my journey recorded in my latest book, A Year in the Life of a Recovering Spendaholic, I came face to face with my need for beauty, which translated into purchasing too many things. During that year and the years since, I changed some of that. I connected to the “why” of that behavior, which is necessary for lasting change to occur. I realized that I need relationships more than stuff and things. And I am fully aware that I have too much stuff and things, and that caring for them can detract from the time needed to maintain meaningful relationships.
In 2017, my focus is on mindfulness, and its relationship to continuing along my journey of personal change.
What change(s) do you want to make in 2017?