It’s quite a scary concept when you first think of it: get rid of your stuff. You think “but I like my stuff, that guitar is a beautiful ornament”, or “but I might wear that shirt someday”. The anxiety starts to build and your mind races…
Let me back up a little bit, almost a year actually. One December 27th, 2013, my husband and I decided to go on a vegan/raw food diet, which means to not only cut out animals and animal products but to also cut out all processed foods. We did it for health mostly, we both wanted to lose weight for our impending wedding. It took some learning and some willpower, but we pulled through. Looking back, something that was really hard for me was throwing out all the bad food in our kitchen. I had the mentality of just eating it up to get rid of it (my mother’s voice ringing in my head about wasting food), but my husband had more willpower than me and just threw it out when I wasn’t home. This was the first taste of minimalism I have ever had.
Coming back to the current state of affairs, we have now run into a wall that we must scale. I have graduated from college and I still hold the same part time job that I had while attending school, my student loans are coming due, and we need to downgrade our living quarters. We currently live in a 3-bedroom townhouse packed to the brim with stuff, including the basement. Both my husband and I are self-described pack rats so naturally we love our stuff. We decided out of necessity that we needed to start culling our herd of unused items, starting with musical instruments that we do not play. My $1200 guitar stares at me everyday wondering why I never learned to play it, causing me a constant low level of stress; the same goes for my husbands’ 2 guitars and keyboard. I put the items on a local web classified site, and his stuff sold like hotcakes and gave me the motivation I needed to put more things for sale. To date, I have sold over a half dozen items and we have made a few hundred dollars from our unused stuff. Having the money in the bank feels much better than unused stuff stressing us out and cluttering our lives.
Our ultimate goal is to get down to 1 bedroom, plus a few living room furniture items. A list of the furniture we will have when we are done: 1 desk and chair, 2 tables for the kitchen (1 regular one with chairs and 1 long thin one for more counter space and to place our TV on), 1 leather loveseat (wedding gift), a papasan chair, and our mattress. In the future I would love to have a high quality dresser for the both of us, we have promised ourselves to never buy anything unless it is of high quality and we would use it all the time.
I am still witling down my massive clothing and shoe collection. I have donated or given away approx. 2.5 garbage bags of clothes and 10 or more pairs of shoes, and I am not done. I want to end up with 4 pairs of high heels (nude, black, red, and metallic), 1 pair of flats, 1 pair of sneakers, 2 pairs of boots (fashion and winter) and 1 pair of sandals or flip-flops. This is a huge accomplishment for me, seeing as I own more footwear than is ever necessary. I would like to get my clothing down to half a closet and half a dresser (husband gets the other halves), this again is a huge feat seeing as I started with a full 6-drawer dresser and 2 (yes 2) closets jam-packed full of clothes, this doesn’t include my night stand with my undergarments.
As you can see, I had/have my work cut out for me. I find it’s easiest to do this in stages, especially where I have about 1.5 months to perform this magic trick. I look forward to a clutter-free life. Wish me luck!