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The Beginner Minimalist

Every journey starts with one step in the right direction.  Minimalism is a journey.  It can start anywhere in your life.

Sit down in your comfy chair with a pad of paper and a pen.  Think about your life.  What do you like about it?  Write those things down.  Think about the things that stress you. Write those down.  Pick one thing each from the like and dislike lists. Focus on these for a few weeks.  How do I increase that thing that makes me happy and decrease what makes me cranky?  Work equally on increasing what makes you happy and decreasing what makes you cranky.  When the thing that makes you cranky is no longer making you cranky and you are doing more of the thing that makes you happy start again with two more things.

The thing that makes me happy is sewing. I love creating useful things. I love the feel of fabric. I like the sense of peace I get when I sew.  But I didn’t get to sew as often as I wanted.  I began to set aside time daily to sew. Some days it was 10 minutes. Some days it was hours.  I made things for my family that they could use. I sewed things to sell. I sewed for myself.  The more I sewed that happier I got.  But I also made equal time to work on what made me cranky. If I hadn’t I would just have been avoiding that thing that made me cranky.

Clutter was the thing that made me cranky.  I was brought up to believe that if someone gave you something you had to keep it forever.  If you inherited something you had to keep their stuff forever.  The older I got and the more deaths in the family, the more stuff I accumulated.  The more stuff I accumulated the more I hated my home.  I hated that I was obligated to keep stuff I didn’t like, wasn’t my style, or just took up room.  It has taken me 10 years but I have sold, given away, or donated at least one full U Haul truck  of things I didn’t love. I had kept the stuff because I felt obligated. Now I feel free and my home fits my personality.  It is also easier to keep clean and is not a fire hazard.  The stuff I sold helped pay bills when it was rough.  It paid for vacations when it wasn’t rough.  I “blessed” other people with the things I donated and gave away. Those people were able to use or love the stuff that stressed me out. Now if I don’t love it, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, and it takes up space, I no longer keep it.

Once you start on this journey life gets so much better.  You deserve to be happy.

 

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