From the day we started this journey I knew that no matter what happened we were going to have to get rid of some of our stuff. In the beginning I fought it and was trying to figure out the logistics on renting a Uhaul or shipping our things to where ever we are moving to. I couldn’t wrap my head around ‘getting rid of all our things‘. I’ve reevaluated life a little and even the word things is a very sharp, almost ugly word to me at this point. I’m at the point right now where i don’t even want to rent a trailer. I want to pack what will fit into the back of our pickup truck, and that’s it! Each time i explain the situation and happenings to people i always get some disbelief and slightly crazy stares or questions like “how are you just getting rid of everything?”. Easy, we just are. My husband would tell you that i have some hoarding issues. Although i completely disagree with the choice of words he uses. I, in fact, do not have dead rats in my dining room buried under 11-year-old phone books. Nor do I not have a molding birthday cake under my bed. Now with that said a few years ago i was a loyal participant in the Omaha free-cycle. This is a website where people place their (mostly junk) items and other people respond to pick that item up. I collected A LOT of things! But on the plus side, this is always an easy peasy way to get rid of YOUR junk. People WILL take it. I should note that i did make a few steals. We scored a standup deep freeze, that is in great working condition. I scored some folding chairs, lots of toys for the kids, and practically all of our wedding decor. All free! So i may have been one slight slip away from falling off the hoarding fence into the deep end, but to my defense…i….er…well, i guess i don’t have one.
I’ve been asked “how do you do it?”. Quite simple. For the past couple months I’ve made a few sweeps through drawers, cabinets, and rooms. I take one small section at a time. Go through it. I make a KEEP pile, a DONATE pile, and a TRASH pile. The trash pile is always the biggest but the DONATE isn’t far behind. I have done 3 sweeps through the entire house and today i was going around packing things and once again i came up with a DONATE and TRASH pile that was very large. So what I’m saying is that you should go through a room once. Let it be for a few weeks, then go through it again. Chances are if you haven’t used or needed it by then you probably won’t need it in the future.
Another thing to do is detach yourself from these things. I have a few treasured items in my home. I’ve had some sad moments knowing that i would eventually be parting with them. I’ve screamed, spat, called them dirty names and now I’ve really emotionally detached myself from all lifeless items in my house. I don’t want to be attached to things and i, especially, don’t want my boys growing up seeing emotional bonds with worldly items and the negative effects it can have on people. I don’t want them attached to things. I want to see them attached to people, and nature, and the intangible things in this world. If you’ve been to my home you’ve seen my one treasured item in the house. I’ve never known why i was so attached to it, but i just was. It’s an old church pew turned into a gorgeous bench.
- Everyone who knows me asks, “Are you getting rid of your bench?” expecting me to say NO or become sad about it. The truth is, I’m not sad about it at all. It’s a neat piece and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I just really think it’s time that someone else can latch onto it and appreciate it. Same thing for David’s 52in flat screen and PlayStation. It was his pride and joy. It inspired the ‘man-cave’.
Simply, It will goto waste. We don’t plan on being stuck in front of this artificial life. Same thing for his video games. Since we started planning on leaving David hasn’t played his games at all. This is HUGE! They used to be his outlet, his down time, his ‘reset’ button on a daily basis. Now it’s working out, and nature, and…well homework currently.
These worldly treasure that we collect seem silly to me. Yes there are those sentimental items that have meanings behind them or have been passed down through the years. But take a look around your house and see all the things. The things you don’t use, the things you haven’t used in months that are all just sitting there becoming magnets to dust mites. Do you need them? I surely don’t need 4 spatulas, or those cheap-o shelves from Ikea, or 16 bottles of fingernail polish that have separated and become all gooey. I need clothes, a pan to cook with, and my family. Everything else is just things. Stuff that breaks, stuff that you get mad if it gets damaged. I don’t want to be dependent on things. I’m packing my house up and i’m striving for one tub or box per room. I’m doing fairly well. Clothes and blankets seem to be taking up the most room thus far. Packing Davids closet today i counted and he had 11 pairs of dress pants! It things like that where it catches my attention and i feel spoiled and selfish. Some people don’t have a single pair of slacks and here we are with 11! So needless to say we donated a few pairs. SO maybe you’re thinking…. 11 pair of slacks what’s the big deal? If it’s not a big deal to you then maybe being a minimalist isn’t the right path for you- no big deal. For me, i’m on a journey. A journey to find pleasure in life outside of things. At first is was scary and hard but now it’s wonderful and fulling purging most everything we own. Simply, It’s freeing.
“Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going –
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.”
~ Kozan Ichikyo