Minimal Me

minimal

min·i·mal·ism

/ˈminəməˌlizəm/

    Noun

      1.   A 1950s trend in art that used simple,  typically massive, forms.

      2. An avant-garde movement in music,  characterized by the repetition of very short phrases that change  gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.

I have too much stuff.

Last summer I began the task of de-cluttering my world by getting rid of massive amounts of paperwork I’d been carrying around – some of it for over fifteen years.   What began as project to lighten my load for a move ended with the shredding of almost two hundred pounds of paper and a deep disappointment with myself.

And not just because of the cost: transporting then shredding, time taken to sort it, space taken (for years), and lost value of space.  No, what it really meant was that I had commited thought (time) and space (a resource) to stuff for no return.  I had been wasting time and resources.

More disappointing is that this realization isn’t new to me. I’d somehow albeit quietly, fallen into the “perhaps I’ll use it one day” trap. That misguided thinking caused me to keep. store, move, account for, and think about  things well beyond a point that I should have.

The “maybe one day” thing rarely, if ever comes.

Here’s an example: I have two laptops and two personal computers in storage.  And I have an IPad, IPhone, and laptop that aren’t in storage.  That means I have seven computing devices (pause) for one person, (pause) four of which are not being used (stop).  My mistake was not in keeping them for strategic use. My mistake was that I had no strategic plan for them – such as getting rid of them as I replaced them with newer devices. And that was primarily because they were in storage!

Over the next several weeks and months, I’m going to downsize even further.  I’m serious. I’m going minimal.  A concept I was afraid to even share with you, considering the business I’m in.  After all, I want you buying, right?! Yes, but in a different way.

Here are the principles I’ve come to embrace as I think strategically and wisely about how I consume.  They are:

1)      Minimal does not necessarily mean stark.

2)      Use caution when using sentimentality as a deciding factor.

3)      Better to have few and have quality.

4)      Have a plan to discard or rotate (or storage is synonymous to lying).

In my next post, I’ll tell you the story of how a pair of fireman’s boots and a piece of luggage caused me to step even further into the minimalist lifestyle.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! Have you considered or adapted to this way of living? What’s it been like? Where have the struggles been?  What about the benefits?

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6 Comments on “Minimal Me”

  1. Kathy Stice says:

    Good for you!

  2. Shelley says:

    Wayne. I know you will grow through this journey! It forces you to look forward instead of backwards.

  3. tj918jh325 says:

    Wayne, it feels like so many people I knoe are downsizing and decluttering. 30 years worth of checks and bank statements. That took forever. In process of prepping for 2 large garage sales. Really trying to get sentimentality out of the house!! One roadblock is my partner. Several items for garage sale are already back on house. Goodwill and Friends of the Library are receiving tons of good books and older clothes. It frees the soul to see progress.

    • Yes, the other half. So here is the deal. As in any relationship, it’s important to have an agreement beforehand and to stick with it. If there was a prior agreement to the things that re-appeared then a discussion might ensue? Otherwise find ways to hold yourselves accountable. Hold that item up to the plan and it fits then ship it! Good luck as you move forward.


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