I am a minimalist.
And it all began with the divorce. Out goes the husband and so did a part of me (in a good way). But to understand this new me, you really have to grasp the concept of the old me too. I used to keep everything, stock up on everything, and horde everything! What was once the pack rat and keep-sake sentimentalist is no longer. I turned into a minimalist!
Once the dust settled and I got my life-bearings back, I started to get rid of stuff, I mean lots of stuff. It was cleansing and cathartic. I threw out more than several bags of just pictures, as well as books, travel momentum's, letters, cards, notes, dried flowers, post-its, gifts, ornaments, magnets, matches, corks, the list goes on and on. I donated sheets, blankets, towels, clothes, furniture, books, kitchenware, pantry items, tools, home decor, and 'this' list goes on too. I have sold furniture and unused new items on craigslist. I minimized everything you can imagine in my life. The release was so cleansing that I inadvertently let go of my squirrel instinct.
My home may not be dust and dirt free, but I can say it is clutter free. I grocery shop on a need basis. I do not buy in bulk (no more costco for me). I do not overfill my pantry. I hate wasting food or seeing food perish. I purchase paper goods and cleaning supplies only after I run out. I don't need to add clutter in my garage with supplies not in use. My goal is to fit my car inside the barely squeezable one-car garage...and I'm almost there. I throw out birthday cards and holiday cards after maybe a week of hanging it up...of course, if it has sentimental comments, I might just keep it in the one and only box I have left of sentimental memories. You really have to earn that space. I take digital pictures of all of Mathew's artwork and only keep a few favorites of the year. I wait to use the last drop of my shampoos, conditioner, lotion, gels, nail polish, make-up and such before buying more. So my bathroom is clutter free and sample free. Even Mathew's toys get donated. I ask him during my donation sprees, to pick toys that he'd like to donate to kids that are not as fortunate as him. He picks the toys he wants to donate and is happy to share them without regrets. He has even donated without prompting. I donate our clothes. We both have a scarce closet. I even have a scarce shoe collection...yes I do! And to conclude, but probably not complete the list, I am a minimalist even in my office. I am known for the most organized and efficient office in the department. I have very little paper files, I have digitized my office clutter. I know where everything is and everything can be found on my hard drives.
Anyhoot, three years (plus) later and I am still trashing, donating, and minimalizing. What can I say, I live a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism is a style that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. I'm not sure if this minimalist lifestyle is a compliment or something to aspire to, but I appreciate and love this lifestyle. Keep it simple stupid!
One thing to note: Don't mistake my minimalism for cheapness or plainness or even compulsiveness. I love to splurge on what matters to me (and Mathew). Mathew and I travel. Mathew has toys galore. We go out for dinners, disney parks, and shows. My home walls are all painted in colors (only white wall is ceiling). The walls are filled with picture frames, paintings, clocks, and Mathew's art work (see photo below). My home has flowers, magnets, candles, and decor. My kitchen has unnecessary appliances and fun gadgets. My bedroom does too (heehee). I have collections and boxes of photos. You get the idea...right?
I guess I was just posting this since I'm going through another purging spree. Although, to balance my lifestyle, I will go on a shopping spree for a new wardrobe. :)
Before I go, let me leave you with a quote and a picture:
"Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means." Albert Einstein
Mathew's cork board of artwork:
(click image to enlarge)