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What is minimalism? Minimalism means different things to different people. One thing that I keep seeing almost suggests that minimalism is living without anything or at least being on the lower side of income earners. Minimalism is NOT poverty.
What minimalism means to me – a 51 year old woman that has just started her adventure down this path is freedom. Time freedom and money freedom. It does not mean that I am poor. It means that I have made personal choices in how I choose to live my life to benefit not only myself, but my family, my community, and my environment.
When I began to take stock of what S T U F F that had accumulated in my home – a home mind you that I had only lived in for 6 years – I realized that I had enough clothes and shoes to last me 100 years easily. The question that came to my mind? Why? Why do I want or need all of these belongings?
Then I began looking around the house. Keep in mind I HATE TO CLEAN! There are so many other things I enjoy daily and guess what – cleaning is not one of them LOL. I do like company but I hate to clean before the company arrives. Ask my friends about my opinion of cleaning and they will quickly tell you if you want to see Denise, go anytime. If you want to see the house, you have to make an appointment. Pretty much says it all doesn’t it?
After taking stock of my clothing, I took a good long look at my living area which includes the kitchen, dining area and living room in one big section. I saw a lot of knick knacks, books, videos, remote controls that I don’t even know what they belong too, and other things sitting on every surface including the kitchen table, end table, and every counter space available. Sitting there because it wasn’t being used and I didn’t know what to do with them.
Do you know what I did? Right then and there I got a box and the garbage can and went through everything that had been sitting around for what seems like forever. I tossed papers, magazines, brochures – you name it, gone. Then I put all the books, videos and DVD’s that had been sitting around for what seems like years into the yard sale/donation box. Moving further along, I tossed 3 remotes that didn’t go to anything that was used on a regular basis and honestly? I don’t think we had the equipment they originally went with.
When I had finished clearing just this one big room, I felt a lightness. It FEELS better. Removing the clutter had another benefit. It was calming to me. I had not realized that each time I went into this room, I felt stress. I don’t feel that way anymore and an added benefit? It takes me less than 10 minutes to clean it each morning. LESS THAN 10 MINUTES! That alone is huge for me as I value my time. Imagine 10 minutes to clean your kitchen, dining room AND living room. Think you could do it? Probably not.
Another thing minimalism means to me besides time freedom? Money freedom. My personal goal is to help feed America’s and the world’s hungry kids and animals. Do you know how many animals are dropped off in the area I live in to fend for themselves? These are animals that had been someone’s pet or an unwanted litter of puppies or kittens. We have taken in 6 dogs and 2 kittens over the past 1 to 2 years. In addition, we have 4 rescue horses and support local animal rescues financially. Even with financial help, the rescues are over capacity.
Then there are literally thousands of children right here in the USA that go to bed hungry. Add the hungry children in the rest of the world to that number and you are in the millions. MILLIONS OF CHILDREN STARVING. I saw a picture the other day from the “The Idealist” facebook page that really hit home with me. It read “Always wondered why somebody didn’t say or do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody.” That hits hard doesn’t it? I AM THE SOMEBODY that has to step up and do something about the hungry kids and the abandoned animals. This is probably the MOST important reason I have chosen to walk the minimalist path.
I want to be in the position to give tens of thousands of dollars every year to feeding the children. I want to be able to help the rescue we already support to expand so that they can help other animals. I want to travel to the poorest regions of the world and give of my time. I want to be financially free to help in whatever manner I am called upon to help.
This is why I have selected to walk the minimalist path. Look deep inside. Maybe like me, you’ll find your calling and be that “somebody.”
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).