In the interest of full disclosure, I moved this week. I must say nothing helps you get quite as clear about what you own and your minimalism quite like moving does. It took less time than usual. I loaded and packed and moved in the same day, all good things. I did not, however feel like much of a successful minimalist. I still had boxes of books, bags of clothes, and the assortment of kitchen stuff. My friend helped me and we did move in one trip. But I still am left feeling somehow insufficient as a minimalist this week. I moved from a one room situation in an apartment to a one room situation in a house. I moved and unpacked most of my stuff, in less time than it took to pack up and load both vehicles for some reason. I took the day off to move, which I highly suggest to anyone, it was a casual affair and not over taxing.
What did I learn?
I have too much stuff, still. I think it is good to take measure of where you are at from time to time and seeing all my belongings on the floor of my bedroom was helpful, useful. I’m a visual learner and this helped me the most, and was frankly the most satisfying aspect of the whole day.
I also learned that I have been lax in selling/getting rid of some items having had to move them yet again. This is where I need to apply effort.
I also have a get rid of paper project, of very old papers, mostly poetry and fiction that I need to attend to as well to complete my paperlessness. (Paper/paper things other than journals is my personal Minimalist bane) and I struggle here the most.
Do I really need all these clothes?
Can I just drive this stuff to the dump?
I also learned that Minimalism is a practice and like any practice requires effort and concentration to maintain it. It is a habit that needs to be used and exercised. This is where the ‘one in one’ out and the ‘rules’ come from, they are structured to help you keep up your personal practice of owning less.
So what I learned is that I have more that I want to accomplish and that minimalism, is my personal spiritual practice. I need to sit with what I own, and really truly come to terms with my belongings, item by item.
Am I willing to let it go? Do I really need it? Can I borrow this item? What do I really want around me? What do I need?
Good luck in your contemplations this weekend! And remember a slow practice is still a valid practice, and it can be just as successful a practice as one that is fast. Be gentle with yourself, keep moving forward! Every step you take is a step closer to the life you want to live, simpler, happier.
The Slow Minimalist