Becoming a Minimalist

I have always liked the idea of being simple and not over exaggerated. I’m a web developer, and seeing simple, beautiful, minimalistic website designs makes my heart soar. And, although I tried to implement these ideas into my own designs, my teachers didn’t understand and didn’t like it. “It’s so plain.” “You can do more.” “You can do better.” They just didn’t get my style.

My grandmother and I have the most stuff in our household. Every time we move, we’re the ones who have to haul the most boxes. Call us hoarders if you will, but when we get something it means so much to us. We cherish our items and keep them in good condition. That’s why we have more stuff. Everyone else either loses or breaks their things.

After this last move however, I just got sick of all these boxes I had to lug around. My goals for the future is to move and travel place to place. How am I suppose to do that with all these boxes full of stuff? I say I cherish these items, but more than half this stuff I never use and more than half this stuff I never wear. I had 16-20 boxes and 7 large trash bags full of stuff this last move. I’m only 19! I shouldn’t have all this baggage. So, after realizing that I don’t want this stuff anymore, and after reading a few blogs on minimalism, I decided enough was enough.

I went through my boxes as I was unpacking, and I started re-packing everything I haven’t used in years. (tweet this) I called this stage, “stage 1.” It’s the initial purge when you’re inspired and are just done with all the stuff. That said, I got rid of 7 boxes, 5 bags of clothes and 3 trash bags of stuff. It felt great! This initial purge included old boomboxes, clothes, binders, CDs, DVDs and let’s not forget my files of every single paper/worksheet/homework assignment since 5th grade. Why in the world did I keep all these?

The next stage involves going through your stuff again and getting rid of the stuff you thought you wanted, needed or had to keep in stage 1. I’m in this stage and it’s hard. I’m down to my favorite things now and I don’t want to give them up although I haven’t used, touched or read them in years. I hope my vision of the future and my vision of wanting to be completely organized and spacious is enough to let me let go of these items and give them to a good home where they can be used as they were designed to be.

More is to come on this subject, and more updates on what I’m purging and how I feel about it. I hope to do some more work on my room tomorrow.

Have you tried getting rid of things because you couldn’t stand the clutter anymore?