I’ve been pondering this over the past week. Since I discovered minimalism, I’ve been through two whole house ‘declutters’ as well as a quite a few strict wardrobe evaluations and purges during my capsule creation. The most recent full house run through finished in February. And it was serious. We live in a two bedroom apartment and the clean out involved taking everything out of one room (including furniture), washing the walls and then everything had to re-earn its place back in that room. Nothing was safe.
Yet still, I wander around the house looking at things and seeking what else I can remove. That warm jacket I’ve had for nearly 20 years but somehow has never gone out of fashion has escaped all the culls so far. But I’ve got a newer, more practical jacket – do I really need both? That ornament over there, the one that my husband and I bought when we were dating? Are you still adding value? Those pictures on the wall – I don’t even notice you anymore, so why are you there?
I’m a little conflicted about this. Whilst I’m still yet to have given away anything I truly regret no longer having, as we get down to the things that have made it through two significant purges – we’re hitting closer to things I’m more attached to, and thus I think the risk of donating something I actually want/will miss, increases.
But at the same time, as I look through the house, nothing’s safe! There’s that buzz of a potential life optimising moment, like when I realised that I didn’t need to keep 12 wine glasses on hand, particularly as neither my husband or I really drink wine. Or when we got rid of the bookshelves on Gumtree (we still have books, we’re just planning to build an inbuilt shelf for them). Or when we got rid of that huge suitcase that I lugged around Europe in the days before minimalism (or husband for that matter!)
As many of the bloggers recommend, I have a ‘donate’ bag sitting in the bottom of my wardrobe. In there is the weird kitchen utensils I bought during a cooking class on our honeymoon in Vietnam, three exercise singlets that are now too big for me and a big winter coat of my Mother In Laws. It’s early days yet, but I feel the urge to add to it. The buzz of simplifying life is addictive. The feeling of having less to clean, to tidy up or to organise is incredibly satisfying. I want more of it.
This week, I pre-purchased Joshua Becker’s The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, signed up for his Uncluttered course and joined the (rather prolific) Facebook group. I’m excited, but at the same time, I’m wondering what I’ll get rid of this time? Will I start to get to those items that I’ll regret, or will I find even more ways to simplify my possessions. I’m questioning now if I’m de-owning things more for the high of simplification than because these things actually don’t hold value. I hope that I don’t take things too far (can you take things too far?)
Are you also in the Uncluttered course? I’m very excited for the book to arrive in my Kindle, and the course to get underway. But also interested to see where it will take me. I feel like my minimalism is moving away from de-owning things, to the broader question of what is adding value to my life (foods, habits, people, behaviours, beliefs etc) – so I’m hoping that there will be content on these topics in the course too.
Let me know how you’re going with your journey to minimalism. Can you relate to the issue of the ‘simplification high’? Do you also get concerned about how simple is too simple? I’d love to know how you deal with it 🙂