My Path Towards Minimalism

Everyone has a reason behind why they’re removing unwanted distractions and possessions from their lives. I realized I haven’t yet shared that here on my blog, so I figured it’s about time to let you in on it.

The Three C’s

Minimalism, for me, is about clarity, control, and concentration. These things were either lacking or failing in my life a couple of years ago, and I realized I needed to change. A lot of it had to do with my massive intake of nothing other than coffee, coffee creamer, and spaghetti with marinara sauce. I wasn’t in a healthy place, and my mind was suffering. It took a few eye openers before I actually started treating myself better with a proper diet and exercise. I noticed improvement.

Then, about a year and a half ago, I started my moving spree. I lived in massive apartment with friends, then a small house (where the bedrooms were 8’x10′), then a small and ancient one bedroom apartment, and then I moved to Indianapolis where I am today. Each time I moved, I realized it was more difficult than the last time – it required toting several loads across town in my tiny car and my parent’s truck. I started feeling, in a weird way, like this stuff was wearing on my like my poor diet had been. And it was.

This was my 8'x10' bedroom where I kept most of my things - and my rabbits.

This was my 8’x10′ bedroom where I kept most of my things – and my rabbits.

I started getting to the point where my bags of clothing weighed several times what I do. Every drawer was a junk drawer, and was getting worse. I found no joy in cleaning or in getting rid of things I no longer needed. So, I started to make some changes.

For Clarity

When I began to realize how much I and others around me truly had, I felt a panic settling in. What if this stuff prevents me from doing what I want? What if I’m missing out right now because I can’t let it go?

I hadn’t been creative in months, and it was difficult for me to do so if things were cluttered or if I didn’t have an adequate workspace. If I had a desk, it was covered up with papers and old coffee mugs. If I had a chair, it was piled high with clean and dirty clothes that needed a home. My work was often frustrating and my mind was waving a white flag.

Once I started to get rid of things, I was able to see more clearly both figuratively and literally – my space became easier to clean and more visually pleasing. I felt lighter and was excited about sharing what I had discovered with others.

This was a common sight in my room before I left for college. It's been a tough habit to break.

This was a common sight in my room before I left for college. It’s been a tough habit to break.

For Control

Another one of my nasty habits is to let things go wild, although are well within my control. While I’ve got a pretty good game face when it comes to every day interaction, I often feel as if everything is spinning out of my grasp and running away without me. My mind, my time, my aspirations…

Since I’ve become more deliberate about what I buy, what I keep, and what I eliminate from my life, I’ve noticed a greater sense of control. There’s not too many physical possessions in my life anymore that shouldn’t be, and that’s been doing wonders for me. I still slip up once in a while but learning how to talk to myself about mistakes and opportunities moving forward has been one of my unique challenges/opportunities as I head down this path.

For Concentration

I think this one is my most prized reason for eliminating things I don’t need. I get distracted and frustrated easily, and when things are in my way or aren’t where they should be, I’m thrown off. The less interruption, the more I’m able to focus on what’s really important. Like relationships, taking time to be creative, and taking care of myself.

Even this blog has been a product of what I’ve been working towards for the past couple of years – it’s a way for me to practice the discipline of writing (heh, although I’ve been terrible about keeping up with posts lately) and expressing myself for the betterment of others. The more I work on myself, the more I have to share with you all. It’s a beautiful circle.

So, what’s your reason for making the switch? I’m curious to know where you all have come from, and where you want this journey to take you. What are your “three C’s”?

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16 thoughts on “My Path Towards Minimalism

  1. Really great post! Really like your 3 C’s as to why you are becoming minimalist and how they affect everything else around you. I’ve really never thought of my 3 C’s, but have been wanting to start the journey to appreciate what life has to offer then and there. I didn’t want to have postpone having friends over because the house looks a wreck, or spend the Saturday cleaning instead of enjoying a nice walk.

    • Thank you! I totally understand postponing things because the house is a mess…I tend to use clutter/mess as a way to procrastinate with creative things (for example, writing on this blog comes secondary to cleaning the kitchen…and I don’t always love cleaning the kitchen). Thanks for the support, and I’m so glad to know there are kindred spirits like you out there 🙂

  2. I have also been on a quest toward minimalism and share same of the patterns you expressed here. I live with my husband and two children in a 1090 square foot cottage come; and right now I’m the only one on this quest. Keep sharing!

    • Keep it up! Living with others who are not exactly on the same journey is tough (my fiance is incredibly supportive, but not as set on reducing “stuff” as I am). Good luck with your journey 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  3. Yes! All of this makes sense and was very well put. I get distracted and frustrated very easily and those levels can vary based on other contributing factors. The benefits of having less extends to other areas of my life and isn’t just about having fewer things to keep track of. It helps keep me calm, focused, and I find I want to make my life have more purpose.

    • I absolutely agree. You’re right, it’s more about purpose than it is about all the silly distractions we can often surround ourselves with. Thanks for reading!

    • Hi Josh! I was a regular runner in high school, but I’ve been running every now and again for the past 7 years. I actually think I’ve run so little that my current shoes are about 7 years old & still in good shape 😦

      I haven’t had to get rid of running shoes in a while, but in high school I would transition them to “mud shoes” for hiking & gardening until they were no longer useful and I threw them away. Do you have a particular way to get rid of them?

      • I donate them to Soles 4 Souls, which gives the shoes to people in Africa who have no shoes. If you take them back to a running store, typically they’ll recycle them. They can turn the rubber into running tracks.

    • That sounds cool! I haven’t done either of those, so next time I switch out my running shoes, I’ll have to check those out 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. oops, sorry about the double comment. I really enjoyed this post. My rooms definitely used to look like yours and I completely sympathize with making multiple trips in multiple vehicles to deal with all the stuff! Looking forward to seeing more of your progress.

  5. Pingback: Six Doors to a Simpler Life | Minimal Millennial

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