Confessions of a minimalist hoarder

Recently I have spent a lot of time looking into the concept of minimalism and what it would mean for me to start minimizing my life.

I love the idea of eliminating aspects of life and material possessions that are bringing you little or no value. It is a process of de-cluttering not only your physical space, but also freeing up your mental space, so that you are able to focus more clearly on what you find to be truly important.

Historically I have been a bit of a hoarder. To clarify, I am not a hoarder in the sense that my house is so crammed with things that there is no visible floor space, but in the past I have had a hard time saying goodbye to things that I’ve held some kind of nostalgic attachment to.

I have clung on to old movie tickets for years to the point where the writing has faded beyond comprehension. I keep mementos from all of my holidays – postcards, old ticket stubs, brochures and other paraphernalia I picked up along the way. I cling to clothing that I haven’t worn in years with the thought that one day there may be an occasion to wear them…one day. My PVR is filled with TV recordings and movies I am adamant that I will watch when I can find the time – which is often never.

At the beginning of the year I decided to reverse some of my hoarder tendencies by clearing out most of the old clothes I had left behind at my parents’ house. As a former charity shopper I had piles and piles of clothing to sift through and set aside to donate and the feeling of clearing everything out was positively liberating.

After going through the process of eliminating so many clothes I realised that I have more than enough clothes, to the point that I really shouldn’t be buying any more. So as part of my attempt to become more minimal I have decided that I am not going to buy any new clothing unless I have items that are close to falling apart and need to be replaced. So far so good – I haven’t bought anything for three months and counting.

As part of reclaiming my time I have become more purposeful about how I spend my free moments. As an avid reader of the news I noticed that the largely negative focus of mainstream news on my commutes would start my days off with a cloud of negativity hanging over me.

I realised that part of clearing my mind in the morning would involve cultivating a meditative state and reading more optimistic articles, all of which has helped me to start the day from a more upbeat and positive place.

Another tenet of minimalism is to consume less and create more, which is where this blog comes in. Being productive and creating content as opposed to simply consuming it all the time has given me a more purposeful way to spend my free time.

Adding to that, the act of writing has not only provided a great form of creative expression, it has also provided me with time to focus and centre myself, akin to a state of meditation.

With all of the changes I have made towards leading a more minimal life, I can see that they have gradually made me happier and healthier by extension.

There is further to go, more ways that I can minimize going forward, but starting the journey is the hardest part and I feel good about the fact that I am on the path to a simpler, more minimal life.

Minimal

7 thoughts on “Confessions of a minimalist hoarder

    1. I agree, it is so easy to acquire so many things unconsciously. Now that I have stopped buying so many things, the next step is reducing what I do have. Owning enough to fit into a backpack would be difficult but something to aspire to!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can relate to this post at so many levels! I understand the unnecessary hoarding of items with sentimental value, such as tickets. I have been similar in this practice, keeping things in a wooden box I labelled my “memory box” and goodness me, how contradictory this is! I have recently gone through this box and threw a lot away simply because I could not remember where the little things came from, or I found that those I had written notes for stating the time and place, they were frivolous and ‘clutterful’. Indeed, keeping sentimental items such as jewellery from your mother or that lovely jug you bought yourself years ago can be precious. But I agree with getting rid of things that are not of great importance to you anymore, in order to invite in more happiness and clarity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to know I am not alone in collecting tickets and other sentimental items! I find that upon reflection you discover that you often don’t remember all of the details, as you say, and the practice of collecting them becomes pointless. It can be hard to let go at first but once you start to de-clutter it gets easier and easier!

      Like

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