The idea of minimalism greatly intrigues me. The idea of minimalism also seems quite impossible to me.
It sounds wonderful. Less clutter, less stuff, less stress. Easy enough right? All you have to do is get rid of everything you’ve ever loved.
A little dramatic I know, but I’ve been struggling with the idea of minimalism for a while now, and I can’t quite seem to commit. Especially when it comes to things from my childhood.
This past weekend, I spent a few days with my parents back home. These parents of mine, whom I love dearly, are on a rapid and thorough mission to purge their home of junk that has accumulated over the years.
Just last year they became empty nesters so it is now a natural time in life to start going through things, dividing up old belongings and selling what is no longer needed. Right in the middle of their enormous garage sale is where my weekend home happened to fall.
I just made a move myself, and let me tell you, there is no better way to humble an aspiring minimalist. When all of your belongings are piled into one space, it is truly overwhelming to see how much crap you own.
In the midst of unpacking and getting rid of as much stuff as I could, I made the trip home to see my parents who were doing the same thing. I left with a trunk full of boxes of old school papers, books, dance costumes and more. To be honest, I got home three days ago and the boxes are still in the trunk of my car because I’m not quite ready to face them.
Why does minimalism have to involve making choices about keeping my old dance costumes? What if a little girl I know someday would get so much joy from trying them on? Will I regret not being able to look through them and reminisce with my sister again?
And what about all the monogrammed trinkets I have? Kirsten is not exactly a common name and it’s definitely a rare spelling, so I don’t know anyone who would want these things. Giving them to charity seems equally as unlikely that they will ever be purchased and enjoyed. At the same time, I hate the thought of having a storage room filled with things I neither want nor need. What do I do with those things?
Certain things remind me of certain people, memories, or seasons of life. How do you capture those memories if you dump the stuff?
Next time we move we will have less stuff, but the process of getting there is harder than I thought it might be.
A friend of mine recently talked about acquiring her mother’s china set when she passed away. My friend already had a china set so she almost gave it away. Looking at me she said, “I didn’t want it when I was your age, I thought it was so unnecessary. Now I’m so thankful I still have it to look at, use, and think about my mom again.”
Will I wish I could have said that about some thing I’m currently considering getting rid of, or will I end up pulling it out of the closet in 20 years saying, “Why on earth did I keep this?”
That unknown is my real struggle with minimalism. How do I know which things will be which?
I know I can’t be alone in this struggle. How have your struggles with stuff impacted your life? Do you have any minimalism advice for me?