How Minimalism Has Affected My Life
I was thinking about how blessed my life has been since I met Joshua Becker. If you are not familiar with Joshua Becker, he devotes his life to pushing more and more people to follow minimalism. He writes a super article every week on his blog and sends out an email each Saturday listing some of the other articles written by others that are excellent on minimalist topics. He features a lot of guest articles on his blog also.
Check it out below:
Becoming Minimalist – Joshua Becker
After I met Joshua Becker 11 years ago, I set out to try and pare down my possessions. I have tried several things he has suggested, and I am very happy with the results. One of the ideas he had was to limit your possessions to 100 items. That sounds like a lot, but make a list and see how hard that truly is to do.
I have an XLS sheet that I update on an ongoing list of my 100 possessions. Things that seemed so important to me 11 years ago mean little to me today. I still need my clothes, laptop, my printer, and desk. But many of the items I needed back then are no longer useful to me. It seems each three years of our life our desires and needs change.
At my advanced age, I probably could pare down to 50 or 60 items and be very content. When I was 20, I probably would have wanted 500. Things mean so little to you as you progress in life. My desires now trend toward living right and having great fellowship with God, doing things with my family, and keeping healthy. Possessions mean very little to me today.
One of the things I love about minimalism is that when applied to possessions, it does not take you long to realize that having a lot of things brings a very short span of happiness. After that, you have to deal with all the ‘STUFF’.
It first means having to have room to store it all. Some things require ongoing costs to maintain, insure, and just take up your time dealing with them. The more you have, the less freedom you have. Think about that. The more you have, the less freedom you have.
When I began my journey into minimalism 11 years ago, I began cutting out the clutter in my office and all around our house. I read last week that everything you have laying around affects your ability to be effective in your daily job. Having extra items on your desk means your brain has to stop and process all those items. Put 20 extra folders and items on your desk and half of your time is focused on clutter as you glance from item to item.
When it comes to your home, does it not make you happy when you go to your closet and it is organized and it is not jam packed with junk hanging over the top of your closet? Having just a few sets of clothes works great. Mixing a few neutral colors with basic Wrangler jeans works great for me. I recently added a black set of jeans and they work great for getting ‘slightly’ dressed up.
I used to have like 80 items in my closet. Today I try to keep it under 30 including both long and short sleeve shirts. I used to dress up in suits on Sundays and gave that up 2 years ago. So I no longer need 3 sets of fancy suits and matching pants and shirts with 30 ties. I have not gotten rid of them yet, but I probably will pare it down to like 10 items max on dress up clothing.
Look at your kitchen counter. Is it clean and uncluttered like that picture in the top of this article? Mine is not, but boy I want it to be. Why have junk piled up everywhere? Find a place to store items, and keep them off the counter tops if possible.
Many people are fearful of having visitors due to the clutter in their living rooms. A few pieces of basic furniture are all that is needed. We have a few pictures of family members scattered around our walls and we love it. Nothing is more important in life than having a close relationship with Jesus Christ and your family.
Also as you pare down, you now can find things. Each thing should have a home and when you finish using it, you should replace it where it belongs. When we get our garage built into our new bedroom next year, I intend to have all my tools in another room and have full knowledge of where everything is especially my power tools.
All of these steps help you live with less stress and allows you to be very organized. In the past, I sometimes had 3 of one tool, and could not find one due to laying things down and not putting them up.
So with my 11 years on a minimalism journey, I can say hands down that I don’t intend to stop becoming ‘more minimalist.’ I want to encourage you to give it a try. Stuff can overwhelm you. Most people never get organized because it is too much work.
I got started by doing ONE DRAWER. Not a full room, just one drawer. Get in a habit of doing one or two drawers each week. That is not but about an hour of time. Then make a new habit of getting rid of 2 things for each new thing you bring into the house. This is not as hard as you think. It also helps by making you think ahead of time about what 2 items am I replacing?
A missionary who came to my church told me that he has to move frequently, so he moves anything that is in his garage to a storage unit once per year. Then things he has not used in 3 months go to the garage in organized/labeled boxes. If the upcoming year, he uses any of those items, he brings them back into the house. After a year, if nothing was used from the storage unit, that stuff is given away or discarded and he starts over. While I have not adopted his plan, it sure sounds good to me.
We must make an effort to eliminate clutter. When we do it will allow us to be happier and more organized. Ready to make a change in your life? Clean out that one drawer THIS WEEK. After one drawer, you will see the difference and your minimalism journey is underway.
In the weekly emails I receive from Joshua Becker, I found a reference to the next article. Check out 7 ways to try out minimalism living.
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