Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
Today, we have a wonderful submission from Megyn. I love that she addresses the issue of buying (and wanting) less—because stopping the inflow of stuff into our homes is just as important as decluttering! Please visit her blog, Minimalist Mommi, to read more.
I grew up in a house full of covered surfaces. A mom who loved to shop. A dad who loved to save. It was an equation for a house full of a chaotic mass of “stuff.” As a child, I went along with it swimmingly. Collecting items. Amassing tiny displays for any and all surfaces. I was just going with the flow of the household. At some point, the flow slowed down. I stopped wanting to accrue more to display or collect. I started finding joy in empty spaces. Cleared off surfaces. Organized drawers. Bare floors. It felt relieving. Looking back now, I firmly believe my path towards minimalism was a path towards sanctuary. The chaos of my house, both physically and mentally, wore me to a nub. My room was my inner sanctum where I could slow down and be myself. As I grew older and older and eventually moved out, I promised myself that I’d never be like that. Cluttered. Disorganized. Messy. I was fighting my upbringing. I was fighting for independence and a voice. It was empowering to say the least.
There I went, off on my own with little to actually call my own. I liked that. When people came over to my meager college apartment and noted how bare it was, I accepted it as a complement rather than a slight against me. I was succeeding. Further down the road, I started to realize that although I had little, I purchased frequently. From a young age, I had a passion for getting rid of things. When at a friend’s sleepover, I was asked what I wanted to do. My answer? Help her find things to get rid of and reorganize her room. I was ten. Out with the old, in with the new was how I was functioning as a young adult. Thankfully, I never let it extend beyond my means, but my consumption was unnecessary. Reexamination was needed. How could I be a true minimalist if I was avoiding half of the equation? Not only have less, but buy less? This is an aspect I’m still working on. Continually finding value in what I have is hard. I get bored easily. And since I don’t attach myself to many objects, it’s easy to get rid of something in order to get something new to me. Ay, there’s the rub.
My path now is leading me to just being happy with how things are in this exact moment. My need to rotate items came from my need to rotate my mind mentally. Getting something new diverted my attention away from what I should have truly been examining all along. I’m finding that my path to a clearer, wiser mind is not only aided by having less physically, but also by being satisfied with what I do have and trying not to constantly want more. It’s a long, bumpy road ahead, but I finally feel that I have the right vehicle to traverse whatever may come my way.
If you’re interested in learning more about where this unknown path takes me along with my random ramblings, please hop on over to my blog Minimalist Mommi at http://minimalistmommi.blogspot.com. I hope to see you around