When minimalism makes you angry

Today, as I started purging and reorganizing some of our things, I noticed myself feeling angrier and angrier.

Why do we have this item tucked away in a place where we can never use it?

Why do we have so much stuff? Ugh.

When will we have the time to dispose of or find a new home for all these things?

I recognize that my problem is totally a first-world problem. I feel frustrated that I’m even angry about having too much stuff!

Now hear me out, I’m typically a calm and patient person. Not at all quick to anger. But attempting to live with less stuff triggers an anger response in me. I think I’m feeling overwhelmed with the process of going through items, making decisions, then actually removing those things from home. It takes time, and time is something that we’re all short on.

I don’t think I’m the only one on this journey to minimalistic living who finds themselves feeling angry in the process. I’ve had others tell me that the fact that they are more on-board with minimalism than their partner or kids drives them mad. So what is a person to do when they feel angry in their attempts to live more simply?

For me, I think that I’m going to attempt to take deep breaths and remind myself that little by little, I’ll eventually get there.

What about you? Do you ever feel angry while trying to rid junk from your house? What helps you to remain calm and positive?


building a minimalist wardrobe: tips and reflections

Over the past year, a goal of mine has been to do a closet purge. Instead of donating a clothing item or two, I wanted to go big this time. I was sick of hanging on to clothing that a) I wasn’t wearing b) I didn’t love. Recently, I finally had time to clean out my closet. Here’s a few tips that worked well for me when getting started:

  1. take ALL of your items out of the closet
  2. have three designated areas where you can place piles of clothing
  3. separate clothing into three categories: 1) love it & would wear it 2) not sure 3) this needs to go
  4. put #1 clothes back into your closet. take #3 clothes out of your room, put them into a box or bag and next to the door (or straight into your car). these clothes are being donated
  5. go through your #2 clothes, the “not sure” pile. try on every piece of clothing and see what you think. you’ll be putting some back in your closet and others will go to your donation pile
  6. if you are still stuck with some “not sure” items, sleep on it. but don’t put these clothes back in your closet. keep them someplace visible and go through them again in a day or two.

When I reflect on this experience, I’d say that it was the most productive and efficient spring cleaning that I’ve ever done. While I was overwhelmed to start the closet purge, when I finally got going it was simple and quick. I LOVE how my closet looks now vs. before. It’s a lot easier for me to find what I want to wear in the mornings.

Surprisingly, I’ve run into one hiccup post-closet purge. Remorse. Of all of the clothing that I donated, there’s ONE sweater that I miss. I attempted to wear it the other day and then realized that it was gone. I gave it away because it doesn’t fit me well (read: not flattering), BUT, there was just something about it that I liked. And it holds some sentimental value. I feel sad that it’s gone. Part of me wants to scream, “get a grip!” but then I remember why we have hoarding and cluttered homes. We DO get attached to stuff. To things. We all know that we shouldn’t, but we do. So what do we do when we find our self kinda sad that we gave an item away in the pursuit of minimalism?

For me, the following has helped:

  1. I pray for whoever wears my sweater next (& hopefully it’s more flattering on them than it ever was for me)
  2. I remind myself that even if I kept the sweater, it could get ruined (staining or in the wash) or lost
  3. I think: better to give it away now while it’s still in style than to keep it for many years and then no one wants it
  4. I remember that I can’t take material items with me when I die
  5. I smile when I think of a precious time when I was wearing the sweater and I’m thankful for the gift of memory

Thinking of cleaning out your closet? Go for it! Have reflections from doing a major closet purge? Please share. And for those pursuing a minimalist lifestyle, keep on keeping on. It IS a journey. But I’m so glad to be on this road.