Musings from an Organized Minimalist

I’m not quite sure how or when I decided to become a minimalist, but it’s served me well over the years.  Since I moved out on my own over 15 years ago, I’ve moved many, many times, including relocating to different coasts in different countries.  Each time I always felt irritated at how much stuff I had to deal with, much of which I ended up not needing or using when I got to the new location.  And then I spent time wondering why I invested so much time and money to move it in the first place.

Over time I just kept purging always emphasizing quality over quantity for every thing I brought into my home.  I started prioritizing differently and being honest with myself about what I needed.  Becoming a minimalist was a handy solution for me, my lifestyle and my habits.  I think most people are surprised to find out I’m actually kind of messy, so in this regard being a minimalist served another important function.  Even at its messiest, my place is always within one hour of being clean because I just don’t have as much stuff to make a mess with.

Although being an organized minimalist sounds ideal for a lot of reasons there are actually some problems with it.

  1. You quickly run out of places to search for missing stuff.
  2. Little opportunity exists to discover hidden or forgotten gems.
  3. Sometimes I don’t process things because I put them away too quickly.

Notice how I never once mentioned that I needed something after I threw it out?  This is not to say that I haven’t been burned a couple of times, but it’s rare.  Too often we focus on that one scarring incident where we threw something out we should have saved instead of recognizing the hundreds, or even thousands of times, we’ve tossed something without any negative consequences.

The idea is to be confident about what you need to save and what you need to purge.  The benefits of strategic saving are numerous and include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. You have what you need when you need it. 
  2. It’s easier to find what you need because you don’t have as much stuff to go through. 
  3. Even if you can’t remember if you purged something, you spend less time looking because you have less places to search. 

Happy purging!

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