I took yet another step in my quest to becoming more and more of a minimalist. My wife and I took our days off last week to go through our closets and weed out nearly 50% of what was in there. What were we holding on to? What did we have in excess? We began stuffing large lawn size bags and filled four of them (so far). We have a truck scheduled to pick them up later in the week.
It’s amazing the material possessions you can accumulate even living a frugal lifestyle (ask my wife how cheap I am!) and not even know about it until you dig in and start really clearing stuff out. In the past few months I’ve either given away or sold (via Craigslist) a lot of stuff I had in the garage or closets, loaded up three cases of books for the resell it shop, and now begun attacking the clutter in my closets by moving some clothes. My goal here is simply to keep a few “dress” items that I can wear for professional work and the majority of my other stuff in another section where I can pick from it the day before without wading through a ton of stuff that doesn’t fit. In the first wave, I’ve actually cleared an entire rack of space that now sits vacant…NICE.
Learning to live the minimalist life is a process for sure. In the case of my wife and I, we’ve put ourselves on a five year plan to gradually whittle down and not replace stuff as our kids get older. By the time my youngest is of driving age, our hope is to have less than 50% of what we have now so we can live simple, have more money to give to the ministry God has called us to, and to allow us to live our “empty nest” years without a lot of worry about keeping up with things..We want a much smaller home than we have now, perhaps just one car, and to live within walking distance of much of what we will need (grocery, open space, etc..)
Recently, I stumbled upon this post from a music minister by the name of Nathan Hale. I think is a good, quick synopsis of what the minimalist lifestyle is like. A generation behind me is already catching on to this thought process. The country’s financial woes are fueling much of this thought I’m certain but in the end, I think we as a nation don’t realize how materialism is robbing us of good health, life, and in the case of Christians, doing what we are called to do by God. It’s not that “things” are so bad in themselves but our pursuit of them many times puts us in a financial bind that the American culture says is okay. I’m glad to see others are giving serious thought to this approach and are making changes for the better.