Surely by now, you’ve heard of minimalism: a movement of letting go of the things, people, and ideas that no longer bring you joy and replacing them with real space for healing, love, and happiness. If you haven’t, I encourage you to check out Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix. Yes, I know what you might be thinking.
Why would I willingly part with all of my stuff??
For me, it’s simple. I want to declutter my life, which helps my anxiety immensely. I want to live simply so I can afford to live a full life – not full of things, but of people and experiences.
For Lonnie, it’s not that simple. They love clothes and shopping and things. They’re treasures to Lonnie. The worst part about minimizing is getting rid of clothes, bags, and shoes. Oh, and books! Lonnie is a writer and Shakespeare admirer, so getting rid of those precious words is difficult, to say the least.
And, no, we aren’t total opposites in every regard. (If we were, wow, life would be hard!) We do have a common goal in mind, though. We want to live on a bus. We both understand that we can’t have a 1,500 square foot bus and are working on it. I like to say that I could live in a tiny apartment with a chair, TV, and one lamp, but I find that giving away things is actually hard for me. Not all things, but some. The first pieces of furniture that I bought myself were very difficult to sell, but I know that it will be worth it in the end.
With that being said, I have some tips on minimizing if you’re a maximist.
- Go through all your forgotten, hidden, stored away boxes first. You’ve probably forgotten what was in that dusty, busted cardboard box anyway. It will make you feel accomplished and get your momentum going.
- For clothes, try it on. Take into consideration the following things: how does it make you feel, how many times have you worn it this year, is it in good condition? Use ThredUp to sell your gently used clothes, shoes, jewelry, and bags! Not only will you get rid of some things, but you’ll get paid! (Also, if you shop from there, it’s more eco-friendly because you’re buying second hand, and if you use my link, you’ll get $10 off our first purchase!)
- Books! Ask yourself if it’s an absolute favorite, ask yourself if you will ever read it again or read it period, and, lastly, ask yourself if you can borrow it from your local library. That’s how we purged from two overly full 5 1/2 foot bookcases to two small boxes. What to do with your discards? Donate them to your local library!
- As for kitchen items, cut through everything in your utensil drawer first. Do you really need 5 ladles, 4 whisks, and 11 spatulas? Do you??
- And for everything else, it’s simple. Ask yourself how many times you actively think about the item, ask yourself if it’s sentimental/brings you happiness, and then ask yourself if you really need it. Sometimes things blur the lines, so I leave it and get rid of other things until I come back to it later to make the decision.
I know it’s hard. Believe me, I know. But you can do it. Start small. Start with old stuff crammed into closets that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Think of all the space you’re freeing up. Think about the life you want to be living. Think about all the money you’ll be getting from selling your stuff on Ebay, ThredUp, or Facebook Marketplace! I have a spreadsheet for selling our belongings and we’re well on our way!
Good luck, friends!
Two Kids + A Bus