Let go. That seems to be my theme for the past couple days. And I don’t mean “letting go” of baggage and emotional stuff, I mean letting go of sh*t in my house that I don’t need or ever use. Oh my dear Lord, do I have a bunch of crap. Ever since New Year’s Day when Anthony and I accidentally stumbled upon the incredible documentary, Minimalism – I’ve been purging like a mofo. I didn’t have any intentions of taking a lot of time to get rid of things that literally just take up space in our home, but that’s what I’m doing. You guys, Tupperware literally falls out of my kitchen cabinet when I open it. It takes more time to shove plastic back onto shelves than it does to make a damn meal. Two people do not need that many food containers. I swear with the combination of the holiday season and then getting the flu, things just piled up. Literally. So it’s pretty ironic and coincidental, that as I was hankering for a good documentary, I fell upon this one. Little did I know that my new year would accidentally begin on a cleaner and much more organized note. No complaints.
Here’s the deal, Joshua and Ryan, aka The Minimalists, transformed their lives by minimizing their belongings. And I mean to the point where they own perhaps a couple jackets, a few pair of jeans, some t-shirts and button downs and a couple good pair of seasonal shoes. They live in their simple homes with only the things they need and the things they find joy in having. If you perused The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – there is a similar concept here – only own things that bring you joy. The Minimalists have a pretty basic, but impressive message to share – owning less things and living a more simple life will ultimately help you live a happier more fulfilling life. For instance, it’ll create more space and time for more experiences, more fulfilling relationships and more time spent with family and friends. Why? Because you’re less likely to be bogged down and preoccupied with searching for things you may want or need, whether it’d be online or in person. Plus, you’ll save money and will be able to use it to experience things making your level of happiness go up. Also, less things equals a life that is not just work, but perhaps more passion. This is not the first time I have heard the notion of experience or traveling providing more happiness than objects. Not to mention, I’ve experienced it. For me, I know this holds true. The idea behind minimizing is to create space for more passions in life, more room for growth and to give yourself the opportunity to lead a more meaningful life – for you. It doesn’t mean you need to get rid of everything in your home – that’s a misconception. It means you need to begin somewhere with letting some stuff go – to welcome in the new.
Trust me, I love buying myself items on my wish list. I don’t always need them, but I work hard and once in a while I do like to spoil me. That stuff I’ll hold onto. Objects like business cards, books I don’t read, clothes and shoes I do not ever wear even though I try to convince myself that one day I will, old planners, a billion pieces of Tupperware, water bottles (who needs 9?), old paperwork, beauty products and makeup I don’t use – that’s the stuff I’m saying sayonara to. I’m definitely not a hoarder, but we have reached maximum capacity. I’m getting into our medicine cabinet, junk drawer, all my kitchen cabinets, second closet, under the bed, old shit that I hang onto, you name it. The time has come. I want to create more space in my home, mind and heart. I want to be able to find things easier and have less crap. Most of all, I want to implement their message the best I can….I want to find joy in the items I own and not be annoyed by having too much. This is my plan.
Here is how I am cleaning house:
Tupperware – You can tell we’re Italian by how much Tupperware we have. When we go to my inlaws there are leftovers for days, which then translates into Tupperware for days. I don’t know the right answer to how much we should have, but I am going to keep about 15 containers. I’ll bring the rest to my mom’s house and recycle whatever else I plan to get rid of. Tip: My best friend’s mom alphabetizes hers. She writes the same letter on a top and a bottom in an effort to avoid spending minutes searching for matching pieces. Works like a charm so I’m going to try it. She’s an organizational ninja.
Clothes/Shoes – Last year I began to implement the practice that if I bought a new jacket, pair of shoes, sweater, etc., I donated an old one I never wore. That definitely helps me minimize on a regular basis. This time around though, I’m cleaning house. I have to stop thinking I’m going to wear something I haven’t worn in more than a year. With that, I will be donating many clothing items to those that need them. PS. In the documentary they speak about “fast fashion” and retail consumerism. You need to hear what they have to say about it. Un-freaking-real.
Books – Here’s how I am going about this: if I read it and loved it, I will keep it. If I read it and only liked it or have no plans of ever reading it again, it’s leaving my house. I’m tired of looking at all these books when someone out there can find some joy in them. Anyone want my copy of The Goldfinch – longest book ever…could have done without it.
Medicine cabinet, vanity and junk drawer – Stuff adds up in these three spots. I want to open these spaces and be able to find what I am looking for in two seconds flat. I’m tossing any expired medicine, makeup I never ever use and anything else I deem as crap. I plan to get drawer and cabinet organizers from The Container Store to make it extra easy on the eyes.
Crap I hold onto – I save stuff, but now it’s time to let go. I will be keeping letters/cards from Anthony, duh, and of course from other dear friends and family members. It’s all the boarding passes, concert ticket stubs, pamphlets, ribbons, pins, you name it. I have to either start scarp booking or tossing. Not sure which it will be yet, but it’ll be one of them for sure.
Glassware and water bottles – I have never ONCE used the Dick’s Last Resort mai thai glass I brought back from Gatlinburg, TN in 2011. It’s a goner. I want to minimize this area of our kitchen. We have so many glasses, mugs and water bottles. Off to Goodwill where they can find a new home.
Shopping – As silly as it may sound, before I buy stuff I don’t necessarily need, I am going to try this whole, will it bring me joy idea. I actually think this will also help me in my hygge efforts too! It’s very much a win win if you ask me. I guess my new goal in life is to be joyful and cozy. I’ll take it.
The 30 Day Challenge – Beginning on the first day, throw one thing away. The second, throw two things away. The third, three things. You get the idea.
Check out Minimalism on Netflix. I have a feeling you will have the urge to purge after watching as well. Oh! And these two dudes also have a podcast. It’s so much fun and extra informative. The mindset of minimalism is very therapeutic. I’m feeling not only “physically” lighter, but mentally clearer as well, since ridding my world of useless crap.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this concept. Have you seen the film? Are you a minimalist? Any tips? Do you hoard and need to give yourself an intervention? Talk to us in the comments below! xx