Creating a Clutter-Free Life

I’m a hoarder. I’ll admit it.

I’m not all that sentimental, but when I believe that holding on to an item can save me some money down the road, I usually keep it. This means that when it comes time to clean up the rooms in my apartment, it’s a big hassle.

That’s why for 2012 I’ve decided that I’m taking the route of minimalism. After being inspired by the book Life Nomadic by Tynan, and reading blogs such as Zen Habits, I’ve come to realize that the way I’ve been living doesn’t mesh with my future goals. I want to travel, and I want to be less materialistic.

I’ve already packed up tons of my stuff, ready to be given away to the local Goodwill. My apartment—and subsequently my life—already feels lighter and freer.

Pulling the Trigger

It’s hard to give away stuff that you’re used to seeing all the time, or even stuff that you hardly see but paid a lot for. When you paid $60 for a dress, but it’s no longer in style, it’s difficult to let go. However, this could be the perfect time to reevaluate your purchasing habits.

This process of giving unwanted items away makes you think long and hard about future purchases. Will I ever buy a $60 dress again for just one night of wear only to have it go out of style in the next couple of years? Nope. Lesson learned. I can dust my hands off now because I’ve had a good learning experience. It definitely takes reflection and going through your items to be able to consciously decide if a purchase was worthy or not.

Taming the Materialism

I’m sure most of us find ourselves lusting after things on a daily basis. If you shop online and buy on impulse without a particular purchase in mind, you’re probably well aware of this phenomenon.

As I went through my large pile of stuff to try and give away all of my unnecessary possessions, I found myself wondering why I held on to all of these items throughout the years. Each unnecessary piece required my attention at some point during the day. I might move a piece of broken or undesirable jewelry out of the way to get to a piece that I wear often, or I would move a hanger with a piece of clothing that I never wear just so I could get to my favorite jacket. These little bits of effort all add up, and I’ve even lugged this unwanted and unused stuff around as I moved from my dorm to home to my new dorm to my current apartment.

I like this new way of living because life is simpler when you have fewer choices about what to wear that day, which pen to use, or even just walk around your living room without tripping over anything.

If people can live out of a backpack for months on end, I’m sure I can go without 10 extra towels. Case in point.

 

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