I’ve already failed at limiting my social engagements. My husband pressured me into going to dinner and drinks with his coworkers after my Crossfit class. I had exactly 15 minutes after my Crossfit class ended to get home, shower, get dressed and leave for dinner. I’m not really spacing my activities.
I’m exhausted today…
When I first thought about reducing my time committments, I thought it was a silly endeavor. I enjoy my life. Yes, I’m tired and can be grouchy, but isn’t everyone?
I read Dear Busy Person at Northwest Edible Life, and I get it. I don’t have to be tired. I don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the dishes in my sink or my undone laundry.
For this week, I’m going to allow myself the freedom of doing nothing. I won’t feel guilty about sitting on the patio drinking tea because I should be vacuuming. I will crawl in bed early with my puppy and read a book without having a to-do list running through my head.
Even as I type this out, I know this is going to be difficult for me. I’ve always been an overachiever. A varsity athlete through college. A straight A student. Every minute of my day is planned. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ve felt it’s necessary to reach my goals and make the most of my day.
I’ve worked my way through our apartment. I’ve thrown away, recycled or donated bags and bags of my possessions. I don’t feel any lighter. I don’t feel any less stressed. Did I think reducing the number of items that I owned would reduce stress caused by other external factors?
I plan to continue sorting through my possessions every day for the rest of the month. I’ll dedicate at least 5 minutes in the evening to reevaluate whether I need 3 ice cream scoops.
Starting tomorrow, I will be focused on reducing time commitments. Any recommendations or advice? I’ve always over scheduled my days, and I can provide a breakdown if anyone is interested.
5 days in. Countless items purged. I still feel overwhelmed by my possessions.
I have clothing ranging in sizes 2 through 6. I’m unable to let go of clothing too small because I feel I would be giving up on losing the weight I put on in grad school. I also don’t want to get rid of my clothing that’s too big because I hate shopping when I’ve put on weight; I will continue to wear clothing that is too small. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth.
How do you reconcile your insecurities with minimal possessions?
The closet clean out was difficult! I managed to make a huge pile for donating, but my wardrobe is still large. I have five dresses that I rarely wear because I work in a very casual office/lab. After reading this post about getting rid of items that cost less than $20 and take less than 20 minutes to replace, I settled on keeping them. I’ve slowly acquired these dresses, and I feel professional and polished when I wear them.
Two days of purging hasn’t made an impact. If I’m serious about minimalism, I will have to continue purging during weeks 2-4.
This week I’m focusing on possession reduction. I’ve broken my apartment into zones to make the purge less intimidating. I won’t be a contender in The 100 Thing Challenge at the end of the week, but I will reduce the amount of stuff in my life.
Day 1: Bathroom (details below)
Day 2: Closet
Day 3: Dresser
Day 4: Kitchen
Day 5: Guest Bedroom + Donation Trip
Day 6: Bathroom, Closet, and Dresser (again)
Day 7: Guest Bedroom, Kitchen, and Guest Bathroom (again)
My bathroom clean-out went well yesterday. I used three paper bags labeled G (garbage), D (donate), and R (recycle) to quickly sort items. I threw away old make-up, recycled empty bottles, and tossed expired medication/sunscreen. I also have a bag full of jewelry to donate on Saturday. I made two trips to the recycling bins and one trip to the garbage dumpster.
Lessons learned from day 1:
I will add a put away bag (P) to my GDR bag set-up to organize/clean while purging.
The first round of items felt great. The next round will be more difficult, but I have so many items that I haven’t used in months. I’m also not looking forward to creating a donation list, but the tax write-up will be a nice boost next year.
I sorted through my husband’s things in the bathroom, but he didn’t have many. The closet and guest bedroom will require his input to be successful.
min·i·mal·ism – Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.
We have too much stuff.
I share a 1,200 square foot apartment with a puppy and my husband. Due to insane rent in our area, we are contemplating moving into a one bedroom apartment (~800 square feet) in 2014. I’m approaching minimalism as a way to avoid renting a storage unit.
I’m going to approach becoming a minimalist for a month using a condensed version of the post “The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life” by Becoming Minimalist. I will focus on each of the 4 categories for 7 days with the remaining 3 days left for reflection.
- Reduce Possessions
- Sort through items for 10 minutes/day.
- Donate, recycle, or throw away unnecessary items.
- Reduce Time Commitments
- Keep schedule simple.
- Allow plenty of time for relaxing
- Reduce Artificial Ingredients
- Focus on the moment, not the screen
- Limit TV viewing
- iPhone/iPad use
Image by Stephen A. Wolfe.