Minimalism: Uncluttered Course Weeks 2-4

Over the past three weeks in the Uncluttered Course with Joshua Becker, we have started to actually declutter. Despite my regularity at maintaining our minimalistic home, we were still able to create a pile of items to go. In fact, we have officially surpassed our tax deductible donation total from 2015 and we aren't even half way through 2016!! I'm sure that as we continue to work through various rooms in our home we will find even more items to pass along.

One of the neatest outcomes of taking this course is that so many of you are also participating! Receiving texts with piles of garbage bags or emails listing all that was just dropped at the donation center both spur me on to de-own and thrill my heart that you, reader, are journeying into a world of immense benefit. Regardless of your why, I hope you continue to be ruthless and courageous as you tackle your possessions. 

Since so many of you are working through your homes, I've been reflecting on minimalistic life with fresh eyes. The idea of consumerism continues to nag me. I've been thinking about how I'll take 6 pictures instead of just 1. Or I go to the library and bring home 12 books more than I actually need. Or I rush through reading a book just to say it is done and move on to the next.

When will I learn to slow down, savor, indulge? When will I be content with finishing something and resting? To enjoy the afterglow of a project well done before racing to consume the next item on my to do list? For me, consumerism- being one who consumes solely for self-gratification or pleasure- is another aspect of selfishness, perhaps even a societal excuse to be selfish. 

Critics say that minimalism is only for the wealthy as they can afford to replace something that they've given away. I've heard minimalism is a generational phenomenon as I've never known rationing or the inability to acquire what I desired. But the more I study history at large and participate in minimalism, I'm finding that many of these claims are rationalizations for why normal people would check out of the consumerism game.

Of all the items we've removed from our home, we haven't replaced one of them that I can recall. We haven't known what it is to be in want, but we are attempting to discipline ourselves to make do and be content with what we have. For me, this also extends to intangibles like knowledge acquisition. I am experimenting with using up my pantry, not letting food spoil. My husband is pushing himself to honestly evaluate his hobbies and what he needs to participate in them. Our children are starting to use craft and toys they haven't touched in a while because we've thinned their options. I'm also finding, I have less I need to clean up. It's a win all the way around!

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