Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to simplify your life

One of my biggest regrets in my life was not simplifying my life earlier. I had too much stuff. Eventually I lost it some of it gradually. I lost some after my mom died and I moved to the south. I lost more when I moved to college. But in college I could only have what was in half of a room. I was so happy there. Everything was simple. I had less but I had everything I needed in one little room. I moved into my first apartment and at one time I was about to move into my car because I couldn't pay rent. I always liked the idea of having everything I needed in one little backpack in case I needed to hop on a plane and go to another city and start a new life. All that would be in that backpack would be a sweater a pictures of my mom.

So last Spring I decided to simplify my life and declutter my place. I looked for online articles on decluttering and simplifying my life. They talked about Zen. Yes, Zen is what I wanted. Simplicity. What is really important is life and family. Not stuff. We orphans have been shown that. I don't understand wanting things. I want things that help me survive. I want to be with my mom. But I don't want stuff. I want life to be easier. I want to reduce stress in my life.

1. During the week I would go through a box of stuff. Old papers from college, books I didn't want anymore, clothes I never wore, old phone numbers, old drawings, sketches, trash. I kept what I needed. Of course what I need I use everyday and it wouldn't be found in a box in the closet. I also kept what meant something to me. Things irreplaceable. Like a old family photo album. I has several extra photos. I threw those out. On the weekend I put together a box of items to be donated to Goodwill. Also some bags of clothes that I just never wear. On Saturday I would donate usually about 2 boxes and 3 bags of clothes to Goodwill. I could have sold them but I just wanted to get rid of it now. I kept doing this for about a month. It took a while.

2. I took down big movie posters and put up small black and white 8x10 photos of my best friend and my mom. My microwave had started to make weird noises so I took it to a recycling center. I only use the stove now. I got rid of books that I never read. Kept the ones that inspire me. Only 4 I kept. I got rid of DVDs and movies that I didn't want to watch ever again. I kept the ones with hot guys in them and the ones that made me laugh.

3. I wanted to make my home a haven from the stress of the world around me. I would google photos of "Zen homes" and "Zen bedrooms" to get an idea of what I wanted. I threw out old magazines and only kept ones that I really liked. I got rid of a lot of stupid stuff that I didn't need. Probably one of the smartest things I have done in my life.

4. As an artist there is always some clutter of art supplies and paintings. I have a giant T-bone steak I have no idea where to put. Some more clutter has accumulated over the past 6 months. Especially from Christmas gifts. As a minimalist I hate the holidays. I am usually given things I have no need for. More clutter. Since this is a new year I thought it would be good tell you guys about what I have done. Maybe give you guys a better year with less stress. I also may be having two friends move in with me and I want to be able to keep my areas decluttered.

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