david’s story

stories-of-minimalism

david recently shared the story of his journey to become minimalist:

My minimalism began just recently (about 9 months ago), but I’ve actually been building towards it my whole life without even realizing it.

I’m only 21. As a kid I lived in a decently sized house with two brothers, my mom and my dad. We had a lot of stuff. We had several bookshelves full of movies, an entire basement that was so full of toys and games that it was impossible to walk through, several TVs, lots of furniture, shelving, decorations and the like. I have always been an organized person. When I was seven I organized the basement so it was walkable, but that only led to obtaining more junk that again filled the floors.

When I was sixteen, we traveled to Georgia to remodel my grandmother’s kitchen for Mother’s Day. I had never actually seen her house until then. My grandmother is a hoarder. She has newspapers from before I was born, more furniture than could fit in three houses, trinkets and nick-knacks, most of which are broken. This horrified me. I attempted to clean as much of her house as I could. I only got to one room, the living room, and all I could do was rearrange so there was walking space.

When I moved out at the age of eighteen, I had very little. I got a job that allowed me to get everything I ever wanted and still have money left over. The problem was, I had no idea what I wanted: just that I wanted it. I wound up with three closets worth of clothes, enough dishes for three soup kitchens, and TONS of decorative items. I had six sets of bed sheets, two printers (one of which was a $200 dollar address label printer), and a collection of pens that could fill an office building.

Then I moved.

It took me three days to move all the stuff, and another three days to unpack it. My new apartment is a bit smaller (but nicer) than the one I was living in before, and I didn’t have a place for basically anything. My credit card debt was also piling up by this point.

I first started to get rid of clothes that I didn’t want or need anymore. I then did the whole closet. After realizing how satisfying getting rid of excess was, I systematically went through every room, getting rid of decor, furniture, pens and the like. I took all my compact discs and ripped them on my computer, and got rid of the hard copies. I got rid of my 2 cd players and purchased surround speakers for my computer.

I am about to move again. My friend and I went through everything I had in my apartment- I can now move everything (excluding furniture) in 14 apple boxes. My credit card debt is also gone- and I’ve got a building savings account. I also spend less time cleaning and reorganizing, because there’s almost nothing to clean or reorganize. I come home and feel refreshed when I see all the space I have, and the very few but nice things I own.

No clutter, less stress.  Some of my friends think I’m crazy, others have followed my path.

well, we hope sharing your story will encourage more to follow your path.

do you have a story to tell?  please consider submitting your own journey of becoming minimalist and we’ll share it here.

read more stories:

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. Christy Z says

    Great story, David. Nice Going!

    Interesting how de-cluttering our homes seems to have a good effect on the pocketbook (and vice versa) – I find it no coincidence that we were debt free within a year of the beginning of our de-cluttering process.

    • Tom says

      Exactly! Instead of the money going to stuff you purchased and now sits in your garage unused, the money goes into your savings account or to pay off your debt. This is the ONE idea I keep trying to get into the heads of my friends that are constantly drowning in debt. *sigh* They seem to think they will be unhappy and die if they don’t continue to consume, yet they are currently unhappy and the stress of the debt is slowly killing them.

      • di says

        I’ve always learned to do without, but my boyfriend lives beyond his means. His bills are frequently late, which effects his credit score. It discourages me from making a commitment.

  2. Amy says

    David – That’s awesome.

    I started on a de-cluttering path about 10 years ago. We have a full household with 2 kids. Actually, I’ve been rather stressed recently because I have not had the chance to properly organize our kid’s rooms. (That has more to do with an overbooked and not yet minimalist schedule more than anything.)

    I have never looked back – getting rid of stuff (even now) feels so much better than acquiring it. Enjoy your space.

  3. library_goon says

    Thanks for the tip about the surround sound computer speakers, David. I’m going to purchase an iMac within the next few weeks (giving my laptop to my mother and getting rid of the cheap boom box I have currently) and plan to rip my CDs (well, the ones that I will listen to) onto the new computer. Thanks again.

  4. says

    Some people think I’m crazy for doing this as well, but it makes me happy. And other friends of mine have been inspired and starting becoming a minimalist as well! I wish you the best of luck with your new lifestyle!

  5. Sandy says

    I enjoyed reading David’s story. It seems that no matter how much stuff I clean out of my home, I always find something else that I don’t need and can get rid of. Minimalism is so liberating!

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