Minimizing your life is not a specific process. You can minimize a little, or you can minimize a lot. Some people have taken the 33 challenge which reduces your wardrobe to 33 items, that’s it, 33 items. While I would like to do that, it’s not going to happen any time soon. Some even take the 33 items to mean everything that they own, now that is extreme. Cleaning up around the house, or taking out the trash really isn’t a purge. If you truly want to minimize, you’ll need to get rid of stuff.
When you purge belongings for the sake of minimizing, you are getting rid of stuff. My purge was on the extreme end of the spectrum. Basically, if it didn’t fit in my Jeep, I got rid of it. A friend sent me a text yesterday and asked “what did I regret getting rid of”. I will get into this in a moment, but ultimately I did not regret getting rid of any stuff. I kept that things that meant something to me, and those things that I needs to live my life, but I got rid of the stuff.
I just mentioned “things” and “stuff”. Really all we own are things and stuff. When I purged I got rid of all of my stuff, but I kept some things. I kept some mementos from my time living in other countries, my high school yearbooks, a couple things that I made in woodshop, and a few things of value. I did however get rid of a large box of photos that I kind of regret, and wish I had at least scanned them.
Every now and again I would need to move the box of photos in order to get to something else. I would occasionally open the box, maybe once every couple of years. The photos in the box reminded me of my past, and to be frank, nothing needs to remind me of the past. I remember the past just fine. If the photos reminded me of something, or somebody that I hadn’t thought about in a long time then, well, that really wasn’t important to me. The only reason that I would like to have kept the photos would be to post something relevant from the past in my timeline on Facebook. These photos are often fun to share, if not just to tease a friend.
Not everything that I purged was 100% of that kind of item. For instance, I had several kitchen towels. I had a couple that I liked, and I had a couple that were getting a little old but they had been given to me by my mother. I kept those, and then I gave away the rest. I didn’t keep everything that my mother gave to me, but the fact the she gave stuff to me did make a difference.
If you are having trouble purging an item because you think that somebody will feel bad because you got rid of their gift, don’t. Many years ago my mom gave me a box full of things that I had given to her. These were the things of mine that she kept over the years. She had kept every single thing that I had made for her at school. You know what I mean, macaroni heads of George Washington, crafted Santa Claus, clay ashtray, and so on. She also took all of the photos that she had of us kids and made an album for each of us. She needed to get rid of stuff so she and my dad could start living their RV life, but she didn’t have the heart to throw them away. Instead, she put all the kids stuff in boxes with our names on them and then gave the things back to us. She left it up to us as to what we wanted to do with it. After looking through it and reminiscing my childhood, I kept the photo album, but for the box of stuff I walked out to the trash can at the side of the house and threw it away. My mom was very crafty in her actions about these things. She left it up to us to throw it away, or keep it. She released herself from the burden of throwing away these treasures.
If you feel that throwing/giving/selling away a gift would hurt somebodies feelings, then give it back to the person that gave it to you. Tell them that you are minimizing your life and that you just don’t have room for it anymore. Tell the person that you appreciated the gift, that you hate to part with it, but you just can’t keep it.
In a nutshell, you can replace stuff. If you have a thing that you need to keep, then keep it. If it adds value to your life, keep it, otherwise get rid of it.
If you struggled with this issue or can inspire others on this subject I would like to hear your story. Please comment below.