I can still remember it. Sitting on the floor in the dirty garage on a hot summers day and letting the tears pour down my face. Why the tears, you ask? Because I was getting rid of treasured junk from the bins stored in my garage. Yep. Emotional baggage in a literal sense, if you will.
I always considered myself half pack rat and half purger. I could go through the house and get rid of garbage bags full of crap. But I always had approximately 27 large bins of “keepsakes” tucked away in the garage. I never did anything with them. And I had no idea how many deep emotional ties I had to…. things. Just things. I mean, in my defense, some of those things hold such precious memories. Some of those I want to tangibly pass down to my kids and grandkids one day. And some of those things were also just junk.
I spent months going through these things and ended up getting my collection of keepsakes down to about 3-4 bins of truly important items that I would like to hold onto. And this was not just a lesson in purging and not being a hoarder. No. This was a lesson in life. Because it was there on that dirty garage floor that I actually realized I had a problem. That I was so attached to some material possessions that it crippled me to have to think of ridding it from my life.
So began my healing and my journey towards minimalism.
But that story was almost 2 years ago.
And I find myself now, in a very large home. When you live in a big house, you feel this need to fill all the spaces. Although I have kept my bin collection very low, I look around and see that I have once again, allowed many things to enter my space to the point where the clutter is overwhelming. I wholeheartedly believe that physical clutter can result in mental clutter.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love pretty things. I love handmade things. I love wood and stone and art and really truly enjoy stretching my home decor muscles. But I also want to be so much more purposeful in WHAT and HOW MUCH we bring into this big home. So begins yet another journey closer to minimalism. I need a refresher course.
Only this time, I know how much I have already overcome when it comes to the emotional aspect. It’s just going through and really purging of the excess. There is so much we don’t need. So much that I cling into on the off chance we might need it one day, 5 years from now. Yo, I’ll just risk my chances and buy a new one if that time comes.
Because I know of the emotional + mental effect that material possessions can have on me, I want to be so purposeful in this area. I already go through the house at least once a week and fill up a garbage bag of stuff to donate. But, I also know that I have allowed over a year of gathering items to seep into my home and so the purge will need to be more drastic.
It feels so good for me now though. There are no more tears when I rid of the excess. Just a lot of burdens unloaded. And a lot of clutter that is scattered away.
When I have fewer things, it also means less space taken up. It means less upkeep. It means less time having to clean and manage all said things. Which means I have more time for the things that matter. Like the little people right in front of me. Or my passion projects. It means that I am creating a life of more meaning that has a focus on people instead of things. And this isn’t everyone’s story, but for me, right now, this is my calling.
When I have removed the clutter, my time is spent with more purpose. It is not wasted on keeping all the things clean, put away, and taken care of. It creates space for me to love on these darling little children of mine, invest in friendships, and focus on my marriage. Removing clutter creates time for me. And that is a gift.
What do you have piling high in your home? Do you really need it all? What would happen if you released all the excess and made room for more empty spaces? That could be filled with more important things. Like people. And feelings. And time. What impact would it have on you to move towards a life of minimalism where less of our focus is set on things but more on people?