Becoming a Minimalist

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I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about this subject recently. It seems to be the “in” thing these days. After reading a Facebook challenge listing things to do each day for a month to become a minimalist, I realized that this is what I have been doing and becoming for the past two years. I’m not there yet, but here are some of my accomplishments.

My drawers (with the exception of my sock drawer – I can’t be a minimalist there yet), are now neat, uncluttered, and easy to shut without catching something attempting to escape. I even have a couple of drawers in my dresser that are empty.

I can easily find what I am looking for in my closet, and my clothes aren’t all bunched up and shoved in close together. I can actually see and identify what is in there.

I also have a place for each pair of shoes. I love shoes, but I have given away all but the ones that I wear on a regular basis. I have one set for spring and summer, and one set for fall and winter, along with a couple of pairs of boots, and a pair of dressy heels – just in case!

I have cleaned out my linen closet, and have kept only the sheets, towels, and blankets that I need for myself, plus one set for visitors, should someone ever come to spend the night in my home.

My medicine cabinet is almost bare. I threw away everything with an expired date and kept only those medicines and other items that I need and use. I have something for a headache, muscle soreness, upset stomach, in addition to my daily medications, as well as a box of assorted band-aids, a tube of antibiotic cream and a bottle of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. That’s just about it.

I no longer keep eye shadow, blush, eye liner, foundation, or any other face paint. I use ordinary lotion on my face, dash a bit of mascara on my eyes in the morning, and I’m done for the day! For rosy cheeks, I splash cold water on my face.

My kitchen is still a work in progress. When I moved into my home, I had nothing at all. Many of my friends and family members donated items for my kitchen, helping me stock it very well. I recently looked at everything I have with the point of identifying what I really need and what isn’t being used, and took a box to Goodwill  before the end of the year.

Last year, a man I was dating came over to my home for dinner. When he opened my refrigerator door, he exclaimed, “My God, you’re starving!” There was very little in it, except for what I used and ate daily. And most of what he saw was healthy food – no beer, no packaged sandwich meat, no soft drinks, no containers of leftovers. We didn’t date for long. Besides my not having a lot of snack foods in my home, he didn’t like the fact that I don’t have television service. He couldn’t veg out at my house in front of the t.v. So much for romance, I guess!

I am still puzzling over Christmas decorations. I realized this year that I have far more than I need or want, but I couldn’t bring myself to part with any of them. This will be a project for another day.

Becoming a minimalist is a challenge and something I have to work on constantly. I don’t want to become a fanatic about it, but because I live in a small home, I really can’t afford the luxury of saving a lot of things, with the thought that I might need them someday.  I stop to seriously think about what I am going to save, where I will put something that I buy, and what can go when something new comes into my home. But it is also more than living a Spartan life with few possessions. I still have plenty of things in my home, and these things are what make it my home. I have what I need and want. Everything I own is here for a reason, and is something that I have made a conscious decision to keep.

Yet, it also includes a new way of thinking and of living, and has rubbed off onto who I am, and not just what I own.  I find that my religious beliefs have become less complicated and burdensome, my ideas about how to have a good time have become streamlined, and my lifestyle is quite simple and easy-going.

Now, if I could only do the same with my brain and all of the thoughts and ideas making their way across the back of my eyes all the time. It stays jammed packed, much like a rush hour traffic snarl of thoughts! Meditation is addressing this predicament, but that is a blog for another day.

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