I've Got to Move It, Move It

14 May 2019


Nothing makes one realize how much stuff they own quite like preparing to move.

That’s right, as mentioned in my Garage Sale for Nerds post, I am moving out of my current place of residence by the end of May. The process has been rather enlightening. Despite having pursued a more minimalist lifestyle, and having spent the past several years purging many of my physical possessions, settling into the mental awareness that I will be moving all of my belongings has reminded me--- I still own a lot of stuff. This revelation has struck me as particularly surprising because of just how much I have purged from my life already. When I think about the quantity of belongings I owned when first moving into my current residency compared to what I own now, it appears I have so much less. But the comparison game can be dangerous. The pizza might be healthier than the bag of candy, but neither are as healthy as the salad. Yet when all one has in mind is the pizza and the candy, the pizza will seem like the healthiest food in the world.

All that being said, it is important to always remember that minimalism looks different for everybody. Some minimalists own so little they can trek around the world with everything they own in a backpack, and some minimalists are passionate about books and reading so they have a whole library in their house but keep other items to a minimum. Minimalism is about prioritizing what is important in one’s own life, only bringing in new physical possessions that will truly bring joy, while being willing to let go of the items that no longer have use or spark happiness. Minimalism is not about who owns the least amount of stuff, but who prioritizes the quality of items in their life over quantity or status.

I am not trying to reach some Instagram level minimalist house of sparse nothingness and blank walls. For the people I share my life with I don’t think that would go over well. Instead, my minimalism is a lack of clutter, lack of storage bins (except for one or two for season decorations), and open floor plans. I don’t need my world to be sparse, but I like it to be subtle and calming. This process has reminded me that I haven’t quite reached that state yet. I still have many knick-knacks and storage bins to go through, sort, and priorities. But I had reached a state of blindness to the clutter that remained around me. I had gotten lost in the comparison and lost sight of the goal.

So while I go through the chaos that is the moving process, I am buckling down and refocusing on the purging process, determined to remove those last bits and pieces of unnecessary material items from my life. Keep what is loved, remove what is not.

What does minimalism look like to you? If you had to move in a month, what would make you take pause and debate if it will be worth the effort to move that thing? Or do such things not really bother you? Let me know in the comments below.