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3.06.2012

Evolution of a Minimalist

"But look at 'empty' from another angle-think about what it is instead of what it isn't-and now you have 'space' ". - Francine Jay, author of The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide


Project Minimalism has been in full effect for just under two weeks and it has been really frickin hard enlightening. I've challenged myself to re-evaluate my mindset, and thus my surroundings, and to clear out physical, emotional, and mental junk to create....space.


Along this journey, I have found many useful sources of information so far, including various blogs and books (actually, the complimentary free chapters via Amazon). There is so much information out there and I've been engaging in as much of it as possible!

Think about these two quotes:

"We simply need to put our stuff in its place, so it doesn't command the lion's share of our attention."-Francine Jay

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."-William Morris


De-cluttering has been an interesting process because the only rooms which "belong" to me are my bedroom and bathroom, since I am living a glamorous post-college life......with my parents.....in their house...
....So luckily I am able to focus on my immediate space, instead of the whole entire house because that would take forever.
Still, it's pretty absurd that these two rooms contain so much more stuff than I could have ever imagined. Clearing out my dresser took 13 hours and produced 6 bags of donated goods, 10 bags of garbage, and barely one bag of items to be cosigned or sold.  My little cute vanity, which just contains my perfumes, jewelry, and other fine goods, produced about 2 small bags of garbage, a little shopping bag of donated goods, and a few valuable pieces to be sold. My closet....oh my goodness...I'm not even going to go there. Let's just say that I have been able to clear ALLOT.  I haven't hit the 60% mark that I set because it is hard to let go of some things and really can't be done so quickly, but I've gotten rid of at least 35% of my possessions, which is serious.  It's astounding to type this right now because it's so much stuff that I've let go of, but I feel so much better without them, not just in an emotional sense only, but in a physical sense as well.
My room used to be PILED with clothes and jewels and shoes and....stuff, which made me realize how much I didn't respect much of my very own belongings (that will be another post). My stuff commanded my attention and controlled me because it was constantly in my face, on the floor, and barely hanging off the back of my chair, etc. So giving myself "the permission to ditch" feels good. It's not only about ditching things I don't need or want anymore. It's also about ditching things I actually don't like or don't ever actually see or use!
I realized that I kept allot of things because of obligation or fear of losing memories they contain.  As I cleared out each part of my room step by step, I asked each item (I know....very dramatic...) "Have you fulfilled your purpose?" and I repeated the mantra "In order to be useful, you need to be used." I let that be my guide and it shocked me to see how many things haven't fulfilled their purpose and were actually....not useful....or even beautiful.  At the same time, it allowed me to see what items mean the most to me and how some things I have neglected are so beautiful and because they've been collecting dust in a corner of my room out of sight for a long time, haven't been appreciated.
Letting go is so liberating. Overall, clearing out as been extremely positive. I feel so free, so fresh, and so clean....on one end. But honestly, on the other end, I feel gross. I'm disgusted with capitalism and consumerism but also kind of disgusted with myself.  I keep asking myself "How did this happen?!" (kind of like when you realize you've gained 20 pounds in one year...). I'm also getting frustrated with how I need to be more minimalistic in other areas of my life as well. I just want to GO GO GO/FIX FIX FIX all the time...over-time, which although is great for my prospective profession, is not so great when dealing with life's lessons. So my plan is to stay positive, remind myself that it's a process, and most importantly to SLOW DOWN, be patient, and enjoy the ride!

I'll come back with more updates in the future, and will touch on the other aspects of Project Minimalism (self-image, spirituality, and health).



Stay Engaged,
N

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2 comments:

  1. I've just given up buying snacks on my way home from work. i try to pack healthy snacks before i leave in the morning, but even when i know i have something in my bag, a part of me still wants to BUY something. Consumerism is a really scary thing...but lets stay strong!

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    1. HI! Thanks for commenting. I really like comments. :)
      I totally feel you. I've been in the same position, even for an entire meal, like lunch at work. I'm like "yumm granola and yogurt and salad, oh my! but hmmm, maybe I should get something else for good measure like a sandwich from the cafe across the street....just in case...". The impulse to buy is really powerful but hey, at least we're calling ourselves out and trying to make moves! Let's stay strong indeed!

      In good health,
      Naika

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