Progress To Less

Inspired by minimalism and simplicity these past few weeks, I’ve started purging some possessions. It’s definitely a challenging process; decluttering in small steps helps. And after taking two loads to Goodwill so far, I’m already more energized toward owning less.

Tackling the task of expunging excess is daunting at first — you realize there’s a lot — but once stuff is pried off shelves and from drawers and is placed in bags and boxes, it gets easier. Though the outset might be overwhelming, once you see and feel the first bit of cleared space, you exhale a sigh of relief.

Drawers, Shelves, Hangers

My dresser is much less stuffed since I started un-stuffing it. I can see some of the bottom inside of the drawers and easily get to the clothes that remain. Now more accessible, using my dresser is less of a chore.

My wall once held three long shelves of collectibles that collected dust. Some got donated, some were given away, and others were simply moved to a different space for now. I meant to address one shelf at a time, but the small progress spurred momentum. Next thing I knew, my wall was a blank slate! It makes my eyes widen like when you try to see in the dark — nothing’s there! The emptiness is mildly off-putting until you feel your lungs fill with the open (less dusty) air.

My closet is more roomy now too. When I actually counted the number of hanging shirts I had — short sleeves, long sleeves, button downs, polos, flannels — I was surprised at the quantity. Finding several to part with was easy. I can donate more but am chipping away in small batches; it’s easier. The little progress builds up like a rolling snowball. I welcome an avalanche of free space.

Now that I’ve started decluttering, I’d like to accelerate towards the compelling goal of feeling lighter and unencumbered, for while things we own have value, they also have a cost of ownership.

The burden of storing, cleaning, organizing, and maintaining all your stuff is heavy. You don’t really notice at first because it builds slowly over time. It’s that slight nagging feeling of dread or responsibility that tugs at you every time you open your closet door to get something or pull out a drawer to find clothes. It’s the box of junk in the back of your closet that also occupies a nook in the back of your mind, subtly crowding into other thoughts.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how little I really need and thus how much surplus I have. A lot of my things are cool, but I don’t really want them. Nice to have, yes, but need to have, no. Having some clear space is nice to have and I need it — more room to breathe.

Are you inspired to minimalism? What do you actually need or use daily?