One of my many goals this year (including resurrecting this blog) is minimising and simplifying my life. I wouldn’t necessarily say I want to become a “minimalist”. I’m not lusting after empty walls, counting everything I own, or planning to only wear black from now on.
Not that I even think minimalists do that.
Ever since I realised just how much I hate my stuff I’ve been slowly but surely chopping away at all the clutter that surrounds me and purging it. I came across a great quote recently that really resonated with me: That which you hold holds you.
The truth is that having the stuff has been more of a burden than a reward. Any clothes I buy I have to wash, knick knacks have to be dusted, books have to be stored, and on and on and on. What a nightmare it has all become. Like the ring. Not the ring where the creepy girl crawls out of the TV (that’s an entirely different nightmare), but Frodo’s ring. Carrying that little ring is such a massive burden for him and that’s exactly how I feel about my stuff. I need to take it to Mordor and be rid of it forever.
That’s not to say I haven’t already come a long way. I might not be traipsing into Mordor just yet, but perhaps I’m at the Black Gate. Here’s what I’ve managed to oust in the last year and 10 months since writing about this the first time:
- All of my childhood toys/stuffed animals. My previous neighbours had a young daughter and one day I asked the mom if she would be interested in them. To my luck she was and poof! They were gone. Not only that but I was able to see the daughter playing with and enjoying the stuffed animals on numerous occasions, so not only was I unburdened, but they were fulfilling their purpose again. That felt nice. Like in Toy Story. Aw.
- All the cables/wires/plugs/phones of old. Those things that I didn’t know what to do with but didn’t want to throw out? I finally sorted through them all and took them to a recycling depot.
- Clothes. So many clothes. Ridiculous amounts of clothes. I got rid of them. I donated so many bags I couldn’t even fathom a guess at the number. I don’t know how I even managed to amass as many as I did considering I have never been much of a shopper, nor very fashionable. In fact I spent 4 years pursuing a dance degree where I wore sweatpants to school every day and was asked what the special occasion was if I was wearing jeans.
- Miscellaneous items I can’t even remember. Things that sat on shelves collecting dust, extra sheet sets, blankets, etc.
- Several pieces of furniture.
- Books… the hardest to part with. I took about 85% of my book collection for donation. Along with the three bookshelves that were their home for the last few years. Actually I wrote an entire blog post about this but never got around to posting it. Although I love my books and it was painstaking to part with them, I’m glad they’re gone to be read by new eyes. All that remains are a few favourite novels, my poetry collection (which I’ll probably never be ready to part with) and books that I have yet to read.
It all comes down to time. I want to spend more of it on the things I love and less of it fretting over the mundane chores on my to-do list. Now it’s just about being certain that I love everything I have, and that everything brings something positive to my life so that it is worth the effort to maintain. My main goal is to ensure there’s absolutely nothing wasting away in a box in a closet. Everything I have, as William Morris would say, should be either useful or beautiful. That’s why I’m keeping the dogs. Not only are they beautiful, but they help keep me warm on those horrid winter mornings where I just don’t want to get out of bed.
Lastly I’d like to send a belated Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you to those who might still be reading this, you are all amazing.