Today I began my initial step in becoming a minimalist. I gathered all of my clothes I have accumulated for the past 30 years and stashed them in four large black trash bags. I drove to the Rolling Hills ministry. They donate clothing for disaster relief. I drive and drive. I wonder if I will ever arrive. Then it appears. A nondescript building with a sign saying Thrift store. I wasn’t sure where to direct my vehicle with all of the trash bags. I take note of a sign on the side of the building. The talking sign says business drop off. I was about to drop off 30 years of business.
I pull up. I wait a few minutes. The side door is closed. I continue waiting. I decide to get out of the vehicle while I was waiting to open the back door of the van to facilitate the unloading of the bags. All of a sudden, the door on the side of the building opens, two attendants come out and they swiftly grab the bags without a spoken word. As quickly as they came, the group of two retreated into the building. Immediately another attendant appears and asks me if I would like a tax receipt. I mark my indication of a no. I am on my way.
My immediate thought as I pulled away, was I just pulled into the pit stop of life to unload 30 years of baggage. If it were only that facile. What if we could drive to some building, a group of people burst out of a side door, and remove all of our past pain, hurts, mistakes, and regrets from our consciousness in one fell swoop. We could pull away from the building with a renewed sense of hope and spirit. This is what minimalism is about. It is about living with less. Whether it is physical bags of stuff or the abstract.
I did feel a sense of energized renewal as I pulled away from the building. Maybe there is something to it. I can minimize the time I ruminate about the past to live more in the present. Worry less about the future. The present truly is a gift to share with others. The superfluous extraneous “stuff” of everyday life and things only gets in the way of experiencing more joy.
As for my clothes, I do not miss them. In fact, I realized that when I travel, I no longer have to decide which clothes I will take on a trip, or ask the usual series of questions, “How many sets of underwear do I need?”, “How long will this trip take?”, “Do I want to take my favorite shirt?”. The number of clothes I now own will fit in a single suitcase. No more questions. Pack it all.
You can watch this short video to learn more about minimalism.
What “stuff” could you do with less to have more in your life? Leave a comment below.