Minimize Me: A Former Hoarder’s Journey into a Life of Minimalism

I think minimalism is Biblical. I’m no minimalist. I want to change that.

I am a things gal. I like stuff. I find beauty in the creation and craft of a good pair of jeans, so much that I end up owning 5 pairs. Necessary? Not in the slightest. My closet is stuffed. Well, it was, but we’ll get to that. I am the girl with the expansive clothing collection that my friends come to in need. You’re going to a wedding and want something new to wear? I’ve got like 20 options for you. And you’re looking for a unique nail polish color to go with said dress I just lent you? Come to my cupboard of makeup and take your pick from my overwhelming collection of every-shade-of-the-rainbow nail polishes. Oh and you’ll probably want matching heels to go with that, maybe a bag while we’re at it too.

Well not anymore. I’m done. Sorry ladies. I quit. My services will no longer be available to you. My lending closet is closed. Permanently. Here’s why:

I’ve been secretly drowning in my stuff for the past year. Clothes in my closet I’ve convinced myself to keep because it’s cute or that I might wear to [insert not so plausible swanky event here], or the big one: because I dropped the cold hard cash for. My well-earned greenbacks were taunting me from the coat hangers in my closet while I was scraping out every last dime for rent and food that I somehow managed to miscalculate. I thought it was a budget problem. So I’d make a new budget. Yet I’d always find myself in a panic when my checking account held a measly $25 in-between paycheck*. Not to mention that when I looked in my closet, I wanted to, and did, wear only a few tops, a couple dresses and that one jacket, leaving most of what I owned just hanging out, looking pretty. What. A. Waste.

I’ve been growing increasingly overwhelmed by my clothes. The pile of shoes that couldn’t stay orderly, the dresser drawers that never seemed to close all the way, the suitcase of sweaters I never opened, the dozen or so nice purses vacuumed sealed away, never to see the light of day. And that’s just my closet. What about the boxes and boxes of papers, lost items, and acquired junk sitting sneakily under my bed? Or my bookshelf, packed with novels that I’ve read once or haven’t even gotten around to reading at all. What about my craft cupboard? So seemingly, unassumingly out-of-sight, out-of-mind, yet if opened would send an avalanche of pipe cleaners and magazine clippings big enough to burry you up to your neck.

Oh I would “re-organize,” thinking that if those pipe cleaners had a place of their own, they would get used. I’d get rid of clothes, but only to replace them with another top I’d grow bored with soon enough. I’ve felt this sickness for a while now. I’d feel overwhelmed getting dressed in the morning. Consumed by the mountings of “choices” and “options” I had subjected myself to. I have been stuck in the vicious cycle of consumerism and I didn’t even know it. More than that, my mind has been so cluttered and foggy lately. I swear I’d take one look into my stuffed filing cabinet that I’d forget what it was I was looking for. Rather then do something about it, I lived in this turn-a-blind-eye sort of way. Hey, it wasn’t a problem unless I saw it as a problem, right? Right?

But then something rattled me over the holidays. Maybe it was the amount of stuff I got. The nice gifts that I really didn’t need, the nice gifts I doled out to my friends and family. Turning over that gold something or other bobble at Anthropologie and questioning if it was really necessary and buying it anyway only to regret it. Maybe it was seeing my own mother’s habits and mounting piles of stuff while visiting home. Maybe it was the still small voice of the Holy Spirit stirring up change. Maybe it was the guy I liked telling me my money habits scared him (yikes!). Whatever the reason, and probably the mounting tension of everything above, I have come to two conclusions:

  1. I’m sick of feeling owned by my stuff.
  2. It needs to change, NOW and for good.

No more of this spring-cleaning business. The perpetual acquire, organize, purge, and repeat. I want out. Totally out. I’m done being owned by stuff. My soul belongs to Jesus, not my things. I’m ready for a clutter free life. I’m ready for minimalism.

[*] Please note that this does not include my savings. I would like to think that I am somewhat responsible when it comes to money.