Minimalism

Thoughts on minimalism

I am not a minimalist. For those who know me personally, who have visited my house or have seen the interior of my car (two jackets, favorite sweater, pair of jeans, a bag full of shoes destined for the Goodwill and a broken personal scale) … you likely think that my interest in minimalism is a little bit … hmmm, ironic?

But minimalism has been on my mind a lot lately. That’s been partly influenced by the recent purchase of The Minimalist Mom’s e-Book “Year One.” (Technically, the book is free, but I made the $2 donation.)

Personally – it’s been the best $2 I’ve spent in awhile. I’m tearing through MM’s book like it’s the latest Diana Gabaldon novel and as good writing should, it’s expanding my mind. No – I don’t necessarily envision myself getting rid of my personal items en masse. But I’ve been doing simple things like cleaning out my Google Reader – catching up on posts, unsubscribing myself from blogs that I no longer read enough to warrant the virtual real estate they take. I unsubscribed to a bunch of emails that go to my personal email and ruthlessly deleted a bunch of unread emails.

The idea of minimalism has trickled down to my shopping habits. I’m going to be traveling for work in the near future and need to get a new pair of pants before I head out to Denver. My husband and I have both lost weight recently and have just started replacing items of clothing in our wardrobes – blue jeans. I haven’t touched my work clothes because I work from home. The yoga pants I’ve been wearing for the past five years still fit perfectly … baggy and comfortably. 🙂 It’s only when they start falling down that I will worry about replacing those. However, when I found a pair of black pants at TJ Maxx the other day – on sale for $16 – I carried them around the store and ultimately decided I didn’t want to buy them. I just didn’t feel like it. Of course, I’m going to need to figure out something before my trip in November, but for the present moment … if I’m not in love with it, if it doesn’t fit an exact need in my life – I just don’t feel like bringing it home.

What’s so attractive about minimalism? Maybe it’s my memories of paying down $10,000 of consumer debt and the fact that 11 years after graduating from college, I do not physically possess half of the things that I bought when I was trying to fill some empty part of my life. I shopped because I was bored. I shopped because I was stressed. I bought things to reward myself. I bought things to comfort myself. I didn’t worry when I gained weight, because I could just use my credit card and buy a new pair of pants.

I am very much the same person that I was after college. I am still slightly neurotic. I’m not always the most cheerful person on the face of this planet, but the 33-year-old me would rather shove sharp objects in my eye sockets than go to a mall for comfort. The 23-year-old’s car had an autopilot mechanism that could suss out the nearest shopping mall in a 20-mile radius.

There are some things that are comforting about getting older and maybe a little wiser, but at the same time – I know I have a lot to learn. This fall, I’m learning about minimalism. And I’m really enjoying it.

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1 thought on “Thoughts on minimalism

  1. Michelle, you just made my day. Hold that – my week.

    I am so happy that you are reading through the book/blog and it’s inspiring you. It’s been a huge year for me, loads of change and when I read about others making changes too it keeps me motivated. Like you wrote, you don’t have to get rid of everything to get the benefits of minimalism. The trickle down effect of shedding stuff has made me evaluate so many areas of my life.

    Thanks for the donation. I just cleared enough to cover domain registration and hosting for a year. Sweet!

    All the best to you,

    MM

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