Extreme Spring Cleaning

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking (and quite a few google searches) about how I can cut some of the stress that is in my life. One of the ideas that I have come across is that material possessions and clutter is a source of stress in people’s lives. Ultimately I came across the minimalist philosophy. What hit home with me is the idea of owning only what you truly need because buying stuff will not make you happy.  Buying stuff may make you happy in the short-term, but in the long-term happiness does not come from material possessions.

Here is a quote on the philosophy of minimalism from the minimalists

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

Moving as an opportunity to declutter and downsize material possessions

Hand TruckWith springtime finally approaching I have decided to start to remove some of the clutter from my life that I have accumulated over the years. In the last 6 years I have moved 4 times. During the process of moving I have boxed up all my belongings to transport them from one place to another. Sometimes during these moves I would get rid of stuff that I knew I wouldn’t need any more or stuff that would be more expensive to move than it was worth. An old aquarium I had fits in the group of more expensive to move than it’s worth. The aquarium is glass and would have to be crated up to be moved by the moving company. Ultimately I decided to donate the aquarium and then buy a new one at my new home if I decided to build an aquarium again. To this day, I don’t have an aquarium so it was a good move. This started me thinking of how much stuff have I moved from one place to another and never used. The answer: a lot of stuff.

My start to extreme spring cleaning

This past weekend I started by looking at my bookshelf. I have about 200 books on my bookshelf and most of them I haven’t read in years. So I have decided to start donating lots of books that I have accumulated over the years that I won’t read again. A small bonus for this is that if I ever decide to move again it will be cheaper to move because books are so heavy. So far I have donated 4 grocery bags worth of books and I have more to donate this weekend. I don’t think I will miss them, but if I do I can buy them again. Next time I buy a book, maybe I’ll buy a kindle book so that it won’t take up physical space.

What’s next?

Am I going to become a minimalist? At this point I don’t know, but I am embracing some of the philosophy. I guess the good thing about minimalism is that there is no correct answer. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a car or a television. It’s all about keeping what’s most important in your life front and center.

What do you think about adopting some of the philosophy of minimalism to your life and doing some extreme spring cleaning?

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