Minimize me: A Former Hoarder’s Journey into a Life of Minimalism- Part one: The Purge

This series is a documentation of my journey into a life of minimalism. The highs, the lows, the wins, and losses of minimizing the amount of stuff in my life.If you’re just jumping into this series, may I suggest you check out my previous post first.

Just before Christmas, a good friend of mine came by to borrow a dress to wear to a party. I pulled out all I had to offer and let her take her pick. She walked away with three. She just kept thanking me and I told her it was my pleasure, and, really, lending out a dress was not that big a deal on my generosity scale. I remember being glad to see them getting worn.

My friend left, but that thought didn’t leave my mind. It hung around and rolled about in my head as I stuffed the rest of my dresses back in my closet. I looked at the remaining dresses hanging there and then down the line at all my clothes. Knowing that most of this stuff rarely got worn by me kind of made me sick. Had I just been hanging onto articles of clothing so that others could wear it instead of me? When had I become some strange clothing lender, doling out dresses to those in need? I should have opened a business and started charging.

After the holidays, the landslide happened. I brought home with me my own little mountain of things, the spoils of Christmas. The trunk to my car had been filled and I had no idea where I was going to put everything. I share a three-bedroom house with four other girls. Space is limited, storage almost non-existent. Somehow, I managed to find places for my new things but my room felt like it was near to bursting. Everyday since, I had this gnawing feeling that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I was anxious. I was restless. All I could think about was how much stuff I had. At times I wished everything I owned would burn to a crisp so that I could start fresh. I wanted everything in my life to be gone. I had had enough. So I did some research. I made a list and planned on getting rid of things. I was determined to purge and purge I did.

Guys, I was merciless. I was chucking heaps of junk. I couldn’t stand the thought of my stuff taunting me from afar so I threw most of it in the trash. I was only bagging up clothes to donate. Everything else ended up in the dumpster. I cut my closet in half. Disposed 90% of my makeup, went through my craft cupboard, and cleaned out every last paper filled, junk cluttered, box under my bed. I had become a purging queen, and guess what? There was still too much.

The purging is a process and one that you’ll hear more later on. But, always looking forward, I’ve set some strict parameters for myself over the coming year. I’m hoping that by January 2016, my old habits will be replaced with new and the glint and draw of having new or many things will no longer be something I desire. I’m going to proceed without buying anything, for an entire year. The only time I can is if a necessity breaks beyond repair. Like I somehow rip my jeans while vaulting over a fence. Hey I used to do gymnastics. It could happen. I have high hopes and expectations for myself. We’ll see where I land. By God’s grace.