People always say that once they got rid of all their stuff and began to live a minimalist lifestyle, they became better for it. What they don’t tell you is all the turmoil that happens in between.
Is it Hard Being a Minimalist?
I am an average person that once had a lot of stuff. I enjoyed my weekend outings to Home Goods and TJ Maxx hunting for that rare find, the perfect piece of furniture or the ideal home décor for the house. For those of you in the UK, this is the equivalent of Home Sense and TK Maxx. I enjoyed the instant gratification that each purchase provided me, however, after the money was spent; I would find myself asking, now what? What do I need to get for the house next? Maybe I need a new outfit.
It was a never-ending cycle.
We’ve moved a total of four times during our eight years of marriage. Each move came with a standard two to three-month purge process. We had accumulated so much stuff that our garage was filled with boxes but no cars. Most of the items had no sentimental value and were just purchases we told ourselves we, “needed,” when in reality we didn’t.
Since we began this journey to live more intentional lives we purged and sold most of our stuff. It’s actually been more difficult than we thought. There is nothing like seeing all your personal effects laid across the lawn for the neighbors to go through during a garage sale. It’s hard to hold back the frustration when someone offers you a $1 for something you bought for $30. If that’s not enough, you get a tight knot in your stomach thinking about the memories that came along with those purchases. It’s hard. You have to keep reminding yourself its just stuff, and you don’t need a physical artifact to remember those experiences.
Don’t get me wrong becoming a minimalist doesn’t mean you lose the urge to shop. I still want to go shopping and decorate the house with cute things, but now I ask myself, “Is it worth it?” or “Is this an experience I’ll cherish and grow from?” 99.7% of the time the answer is an overwhelming no. Instead of wasting my money, I’m putting it towards train passes to see Europe or a food tour in a city I’ve never even heard of.
Trading Time for Experiences
As I have gotten older, I have come to the realization that life is more than just how much can you accumulate. It’s about the adventures and experiences you have along the way. Instead of spending our monies on material things, we now spend it on trips and adventures around the world. When I’m eighty years old, am not going to remember the great deal we got on a hutch we never used. I want to be telling stories of our discoveries while traveling across the globe.
Guess I’m Growing Up
I am continuously adjusting to our new lifestyle. Some days are better than others. I still shop online and put things in my shopping cart just to pretend. But each time we start the planning process for our next adventure, I am reminded of what really matters to me.