A Minimalist Journey?
My wife watched the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things today and insisted I watch it this evening with her. The documentary introduces you to minimalistic living as told by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus of the website The Minimalists. The movie explorers many topics of minimalism by interviewing people from many different walks of life who have decided to take the minimalist journey. Having listened to a few podcasts discussing minimalism and it's close brother essentialism, I was intrigued that she found the documentary and was happy to watch it this evening.
While the movie didn't necessary make us want to pick up the cross of minimalism, it did get us talking about what is important to us and what steps we could take to declutter our lives. Through the dialog, we discovered how suffocating we feel in our home at times despite it being a 2,700 s.f., two-story house.
We decided the issue was in the clutter.
Not the clutter on our shelves (although we have two book cases full of books we'll never read again), but by the clutter in our closets, on our desks, in our cabinets, under our bathroom sinks, in the linen closet, and in our garage. We are masters of making our home look beautiful, but please don't open the closet or go in the garage!
As an example, you can't see the floor in our coat closet in our front entry hallway and yet neither of us could remember the last time we went in there to get something we needed. I then remembered about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I had my own minimalist moment when looking at a bowl full of pushpins sitting on my desk. One night while on a conference call for work, I found myself pricking my fingers with the pushpins. What the hell? I thought to myself, why do I have a bowl full of pushpins on my desk? To prick my fingers with? Realizing the absurdity of having all these pushpins (that were last used hanging up a Metallica poster in my college dorm room) had no place on my desk (nor in our home) today and therefore, at the time, I promptly put them in the credenza behind my desk! Yes, moved the pushpins from one clutter zone to another clutter zone.
While we laughed at ourselves thinking through all the clutter we have, I got up from the couch and walked into the office and got the bowl of push pins and ceremoniously threw them out. And with that, we took our first step towards looking for ways to declutter our lives.
Our plan, while not complete is simple. We will impose a moratorium on purchasing stuff that isn't essential for daily life. Then, we will work together going through one room at a time and focus on the things you can't see that clutter up our lives by sorting through cabinets, drawers, and closets. We will create a system of classifying things that are to be sold, donated, recycled, or thrown out. We won't do this in one afternoon. Rather, we will take small steps each day evaluating the clutter and remediate as we go. We are hungry for change in our lives and I'm looking forward to this adventure to declutter our home.