I gazed into my second bedroom, a sea of boxes still packed despite the move two years ago, then loaded them into the truck to bring to my new (smaller) apartment.
“What is even in these boxes? If I haven’t needed it in two years, do I need it now?”
Then I stumbled upon the concept of minimalism and it inspired me to finally tackle those boxes.
Minimalism is about owning less “stuff” to make room for more meaningful interaction, more time spent doing what you love, and more joy. When I heard this message it was hard to refuse.
More happiness? Sign me up!
If you feel overwhelmed with “too much stuff”, read on for some ideas to help minimize your life.
Memories not Mementos
I found sentimental items the hardest to part with, but our memories are not in objects, they’re inside us.
There’s no need to keep a physical reminder when you can think about your favorite memory whenever you want!
Not only does clearing out these items give you more space, it also gives you more time, more energy, and more focus to devote to better things.
The cost of owning an item does not just include the monetary cost, but also the cost in time and energy it takes to maintain it (dusting, storing, moving, etc.).
Next time you’re on vacation, skip the souvenir shop and snap a picture of the landscape instead. You can save money AND have a great memory!
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
All my unopened boxes housed a whole slew of things, but I didn’t remember any of it! I realized I wouldn’t miss any of those items if they were gone.
If you’re wondering whether you’ll miss some of your possessions, pack them in a box (labeled with the contents and date of packing) and hide it in the attic, basement, or back of a closet.
If you haven’t needed what’s in the box after 90 days, it’s safe to say you won’t need it at all! If you do, just take out the item you need and return the rest.
No need to buy a new one, and now you know what’s important.
When you’re walking down the aisles deciding what to buy, don’t let end caps or sale prices trick you into thinking you need something you don’t. Often stores try to lure you into buying with well-placed displays.
I make a list of items I’m looking to buy, and ponder for at least a week (usually longer) before purchasing.
I think about three things:
- How many times will I use it in a month?
- Do I have something similar that would work instead?
- Can I find it for a better price?
Nine out of ten times the urge passes and I don’t want it anymore. This saves money and space, a minimalist win!
So you sorted through your travel souvenirs, packed up a box and hid it in your closet, and then walked past a shag rug at your favorite department store all without breaking a sweat? Let’s celebrate!
Instead of running out to buy a new top (or pants, or blender) think about something you’ve always wanted to experience.
Gifting an experience to yourself will create new memories, and won’t add anything new to your freshly minimized house.
This could be as simple as visiting a park you’ve never been to, or treating yourself to one of your favorite meals.
Pay Off Debt
Thinking about the items I allow into my home has allowed me to make better purchasing decisions, and start paying down my debt.
I have student loans and car payments still looming, but with the extra cash freed up by making minimalist purchasing decisions, I’m on my way to being debt free!
If you’re working on paying off debt (or just watching your wallet), minimalism could change your way of thinking and help you find success.
What are your success stories for minimizing your space? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks to Freepik for the featured image.