Minimalism is hard

I am a “practicing minimalist” if that’s even a “thing”. All of this is to say, I’m very mindful of what I own and try to limit the items in my possession. Today, I took off work and part of what I wanted to do was to go through all of my items to figure out what I could donate and throw away. This mainly meant going through my books to gather ones I’ve read and am ready to part with as I have a 1 item in and 1 item out policy (if I buy a new item of clothing, I have to give the same type of item away from what I already own). Alongside the books, I’m getting rid of items I have duplicates of. For example, I have two protein shakers and two water bottles but tend to only use one of each. Why keep both?

A few weeks ago, I went to a fancy event and had to buy new black shoes. I have a very old pair of black flats that I’ve had for easily 8 years. They seem to have just always been with me but I can’t pinpoint when I bought them. They have seen me through many an anxious event where I needed just the right pair of shoes. They are riddled with holes, smell TERRIBLE, and they are my least favorite pair of shoes I own. Yet as I lowered them into the trash, it truly pained me. Even now as I’m sitting a mere 10 feet from them, I am feeling a need to pull them out of the trash and keep them. I can’t really pinpoint why! I’m emotionally attached to a pair of shoes I do not like.

I think when I have so few items, the ones I do keep double down in importance in my little mind. I really don’t know though. It caught me off guard to find myself having such a tough time letting go of something I thought I cared so little for. This is the “being mindful” part of being a minimalist. I am still attached deeply to items yet still I let them pass along.


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4 responses to “Minimalism is hard”

  1. Similar to you, I find myself getting stuck “just in case items.” Especially nicer things. Like that extra heavy jacket I’ll probably never use. It’s also a bit more challenging with a kid, not in that I can’t be mindful about the things we bring in, it’s making the time to recycle or remove what we don’t need any longer. The struggle is real, but it’s a good challenge to take on. 🙂

  2. I’m a “practicing” minimalist as well, and it is really challenging getting rid of something you don’t even like BUT that you’re so used to having and that you used to the point of disrepair. It really helps to just get rid of these things an realize you’re ok without them, and you’re happiness and well being rest on things much deeper than a pair of old flats. You’ll find that the more you get rid of these “emotional” items, the less attached you become to things. At least that’s what I learned! It can be hard early on when you forget something isn’t there…but then knowing you go on living without it and you really don’t think about it much at all.

    • Definitely agree 🙂 I haven’t thought about those shoes at all but it always catches me how even though I’ve been living minimalistically for so long, I still manage to get attached. To continue to break that nature is a joyful challenge in any case – it always proves to be a reminder of what my happiness is truly based on.

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