As I stand here looking at my bulk all I am thinking is, “I have GOT to lose some more WEIGHT.”
Somehow (in 9 days no less) it has to become humanly possible to get this mound into a normal-sized Honda. I’m not talking about a CRV. I’m talking about a 2009 Navy Blue Honda Accord… I am doomed.
I am standing with my hands on my hips giving my belongings a once over.
And I hate it all. I hate every. last. ounce. of. it.
There are boxes, and totes, and roll-a-way totes, and RubberMaid tubs, and baskets, and shelves, and yoga mats, and wall hangings, and mattresses, and random pieces of furniture, and more and more boxes. I have two choices: rent a Uhaul for several hundreds of dollars to tote said belongings to my new home state OR burn said belongings and drive away from all of this feeling free and light. I think I’ll choose the latter.
Ok, so I don’t actually plan on burning my stuff (although it’s highly tempting), but ever since I was introduced to minimalism I have been hooked and, consequently, I have become more and more displeased with myself when I allow “things” that do not serve me well to creep back into my life.
To say that I have an obsession with The Minimalists is putting it mildly. If I could marry them both and take part in their incredible journey every day I would be in HEAVEN. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus you inspire me daily.
To most, my mountain of stuff is merely a small hill – a bump really – but to me it feels like giant ankle weights pulling me down. Although I can’t quite remember the exact age, there was some point in my childhood that I was bequeathed a red RubberMaid tub by my mother. Now this wasn’t just any RubberMaid tub. This was THE RubberMaid tub that housed my earthly belongings. You see, throughout most of my life I have understood that my living situation was temporary and that at any moment my family could pack up and move to a different state or even a different country. There is only so much room in an air-shipment box so I was given this red tub as a measuring cup for my belongings. The rule was: If it fits, it ships. All plastic horses, stuffed animals, glitter notebooks, blankies, books, and special items had to fit in that tub OR I had to find a new home for them. I’ve been a master de-clutterer and a master packer for as long as I can remember. So why do these belongings in this pile bother me so much?
I think it’s because to this day I still have that same red RubberMaid tub and it’s a regular reminder of those days. It reminds me of simpler times when I didn’t need much to keep me occupied. A favorite stuffed poodle, a Tweedie Bird backpack, a colorful book on the care and keeping of hamsters – everything in that tub was enough for me. And now, that tub houses only about 1/5 of the CLOTHES that I own. Right now it’s stuffed to the brim with yoga pants, and PJ’s, and socks, and underwear. For cryin’ out loud, who needs 12 identical bras??? After all, you can only wear ONE bra at a time…
Don’t even get me started on all the other junk in my life.
I found a giant bag of “to shred” papers that are YEARS old and never made it to the shredder.
I still have junk emails in my inbox from 2015.
I found a Panera receipt tucked away in a secret compartment of my wallet from 2014! And believe me I searched it for several minutes thinking that there MUST be something special contained within its words. Maybe I was supposed to claim a prize??? As far as I can tell I got a sandwich, a strawberry poppyseed salad, and…ah, there is the prize! That free orange scone!
The Minimalists wrote a book entitled “Everything that Remains” that has really been leaning on my heart during this time of transition. By the way, if you haven’t read it yet then you need to stop reading and buy it from Amazon Prime posthaste. Now! … I know that every person takes away something different when they read a book, but for me my biggest takeaway was GROWTH. These men are searching, yearning, reaching out constantly to be better humans adding more value to more people with every passing day. THAT is the kind of life that I aspire to lead.
I think I was born with a gypsy soul. Either that or it was trained into me. If I sit still I’m afraid I won’t grow. I’m afraid I won’t get better. I can’t sit still if I want to do more and be more in this life. I think that looking at this mountain of my totes, and boxes, and tubs just reminds me that “stuff” likes to tie you down. It likes to define you. It likes to limit you.
So… in between now and April 15th I am going through my belongings AGAIN and I have tasked myself with trashing or selling or donating them until every last thing that remains is something that is beautiful and valuable to my life.
This Saturday I’m throwing myself a “Purge Party.” It’s about to get real real, y’all.