How minimization has changed my life.


Last year I was asked to help a friend out.  In the process I began to feel as though I had a hoarding problem.  I frantically watched ever episode of Hoarders there was in a week.  My family has a hoarding issue.  I escaped my mother’s house to get away from it.  The problem was I brought my own hoard with me.  I have a ver hard time parting with stuff.  I collect all sorts of things. I keep broken bits around, I may fix that one day.  I keep old screws and nuts around, I may need that one day.  The problem is after awhile, one day never actually comes.

Last January, I came home and just cleaned my place out.  I got rid of things that I really had no use for.  The fact that one day I would love to live on a Sailboat really helps focus this purging process.  I bought a French Press and gave my old coffee pot away.  I started going though books and discarding them.  I like to leave stuff on the covered porch out front for the neighbors to grab things they can use.  It amazes me that most of the time the stuff is gone in a day.  Since my family is small, and I am usually cooking for one, do I really need a full dish set for 12?

When I first moved into this little apartment I left my microwave behind.  I really had no space for one, so I just left it.  I have never regretted that fact.  I now simply reheat the way they did before microwaves were invented.  I also wonder if the food is healthier without it?  I wish I had the option of not using one at work.

I am not the greatest housekeeper.  In fact I kind of suck at it.  I like to organize and pile things up.  I have been known to have a bag or a box of paperwork that is over 6 months old.  Oh, I think that might be a hoarding tendency.  Yesterday my plans were completely changed on me.  I took that opportunity to get some serious cleaning done.  I went through those boxes and bags and now I have a small stack of magazines by my bed and a few items left to finish up on my table.  My bedroom is all cleaned up and it looks great.  I guess it helped that I had my bike at my boyfriends place.  It is much easier to work without trying to work around it.

What I have noticed, is that by purging a couple of times a year, even though I am a terrible housekeeper, my apartment is not that messy.  There is space to move, and places to sit.  This makes for a bit of peace in my place.  Unfortunately my daughter also has a hoarding tendency and I need to really get her help with that.  Strangely enough none of the men in my family have this problem.  Well not my dad or my brother or my son.  All direct relations to me.  I am not certain about cousins.  I do need to point out this this is a problem on my mom’s side, not my father’s.  My dad used to try to purge by burning up stuff.  He would just grab stuff and burn it when we were not home.  He burnt up a favorite shirt of mine.  I was so furious, he said it was an accident, but seriously he threw it in the fireplace.  Problem was I bought the same shirt for my mom for Christmas that year, so he may have thought it was hers.

By minimizing and purging, I have a cleaner place, I can find most things and I have space to do things.  It also saves me money, knowing that I can go home and not have to stress about a mess or stuff.   By being able to let go, and that is what hoarding is all about, I have cleansed not only my living space but my emotional space as well.  There is room now for more people in my life.  There is more love and more adventure.  By learning to let go, I have found peace, and that, my friend is the most valuable commodity there is.

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