Why I Decided To Get Rid of 90% of My Possessions and Become a Minimalist
I can still recall the day when it all just became too much for me.
I walked through the front door of my apartment and it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Clutter and stuff everywhere!!!
It felt like it was all closing in on me, and I began to feel claustrophobic, I even had trouble breathing for a few seconds.
It was almost as if there was a literal weight on my chest. I thought to myself: "Tim, all this stuff is going to kill you if you don't do something, and soon"
How I Got Here...
First let's talk a little bit about why I had so much stuff crammed into my one bedroom apartment in the first place. Aside from the normal amount of possessions that I had acquired over the years, I also had several collections (I'm a huge comic book geek, and I dabble in coin collecting) residing with me in my home.
And if that wasn't enough, I had recently started my eBay business that consisted of me selling items I scavenged from local dumpsters. So my living room was literally filled with bags and bags of clothes, silverware, trinkets, etc.
Imagine all this hitting you smack dab in the face every single day as you walk through the front door exhausted after a 10 hour work day!
Making A Change...
At this moment I wasn't thinking about becoming a minimalist or even making any great life change.
I was just interested in seeing the carpet in my living room again!
I decided that even though I had a lot of potential income in all those bags and boxes of 'garbage' piled everywhere, the money wasn't worth the stress their presence was causing me.
This is when my long and wonderful relationship with Goodwill began!
I didn't really want to throw all the things I had pulled out of the dumpster right back in the dumpster so I decided that donating everything to Goodwill was the answer.
Not only would the items be getting recycled back into use, but I would also be supporting all the causes Goodwill supports through my donation. So I got a good feeling from emptying my apartment and a good feeling from knowing I was helping others! It was a win-win!
A curious thing happened after I finished donating all the clutter and excess stuff from my living room. The feeling of relief I got was so great and I felt so energized that I started looking around for more possessions that I could donate.
I spent the next few weeks making piles of things I didn't want or need and then taking them down to the Goodwill every 2 or 3 days. I often wondered what the people at the Goodwill thought of me and my routine donations. After all, I was giving away some nice things!
I can honestly say that I had almost become addicted to the great feeling I was getting as I de-cluttered my home. Every time I walked through my front door and saw all the wide open spaces and nice clear, clean countertops I got this feeling of lightness and pure freedom that took me to a higher level of happiness than I had experienced in years.
It was around this time that I started wondering if anyone else had stumbled across this great path to happiness and I began poking around on the internet for kindred spirits.
This is when I discovered Minimalism, downsizing, living simply, and the Tiny House Movement.
I was fascinated by all the people I came across that were living their lives with less and genuinely seemed happier because of it. It wasn't just me and something in my crazy brain, this minimalism thing was real!
After weeks of further research and even more donating, I decided that I wanted to go big and donate, get rid of, or sell as many of my possessions as I could. I had come to the realization that most of the things I owned were unimportant.
I spent all this time caring for them, and worrying about them and they really brought very little into my life in return. Most of my possessions just sat in a closet or corner somewhere and never got used. What a waste!
I also realized that instead of having collections sitting around that I only pulled out to show off on the rare occasions when a fellow collector came by, I could sell off most of my comics and coins and put all the money to good use.
Now that I've been on my minimalistic journey for some time now I can honestly say I don't miss any of my former possessions. I'm happy and content with the small amount of things I am blessed to have.
If anything I am looking forward to giving away even more and having even less in the future. I plan on making it one of my life goals to keep pushing the boundary and see just how little a person needs to own to survive and be happy.
I know that to some people giving away 90% of your possessions seems extreme, and maybe it is, but for me it was one of the best things I have ever done. I feel blessed to have been brought to the path of minimalism and I look forward to journeying along it for many years to come.