andrea shared her story of becoming minimalist through our share your story page. this is her story:
My story began in childhood. My parents divorced when I was a baby and each summer I would be sent to live with my dad. While they weren’t out-right hoarders, my dad’s family did have a huge problem with clutter. On many occasions, they would spend hours cleaning just to clear a place for me to sleep.
As an adult, I noticed that I seemed to spend a lot of time in a state of constant agitation. I eventually discovered that when I looked around, the piles of clothes, stacks of magazines, and other things not put away left me unable to relax. In addition, the mounting credit card debt that came from maintaining this lifestyle based on having lots of “stuff,” also added to my lingering feelings of discomfort.
My journey continued following my divorce at age 30. As a result, I moved into a space that was about a third of size I had lived in before (and with only one closet!). I had no furniture, but I had never felt so free. I went through all of my things, purging clothes that were uncomfortable, didn’t fit, or I just plain didn’t like. I met a man with similar tendencies and was surprised to find that he only owned one pair of work pants. One pair—incredible!
I can’t tell you how liberating it is to not be ruled by stuff any more. I have so much more free time now that I don’t have to spend all my time straightening and dusting all the junk I had lying around. I spend so much less money now that I’m not constantly buying clothes. Now I only buy things to replace worn or broken items. If I can’t think of a spot for an item, I don’t buy it!
I had been raised to believe that what you have, and what you can afford to have, demonstrates your success in life. But, that is simply not true. It’s not what you OWN that defines you, but what you DO that defines you.
Probably the biggest issue that I run into when I tell people that I’m a minimalist is that they equate minimalism to asceticism. Minimalism doesn’t mean having to go without. Just because you own very few things, doesn’t mean you can’t have comfort or luxury. I mean, I sleep in a bed. A real bed…with sheets and everything! But, I don’t have ten sets of sheets; I have one set—one very luxurious set. That’s the benefit of not having to spend money on a bunch of stuff. I can spend more money on the few things that I do have, so that I can get higher quality, longer lasting items. How eco friendly!
we hope andrea’s story will encourage you to consider minimalism as a lifestyle too!
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