Minimalism – The Journey #7
When I began this minimization journey, I felt confident that outside of my books and some excess clothes, I wouldn’t’ have a lot to minimize. And now that I’ve taken care of all the low hanging fruit, I’ve discovered that a lot remains.
Not a lot of volume, but rather a lot in terms of time. I can’t simply pack up the remaining stuff in boxes and drop it off at the nearest charity shop. With this time-based obstacle on the horizon, I’ve discovered the stressful side of minimizing my life.
The initial goal for me was to simplify and declutter my house. The hope was doing so would declutter my life and allow me to live with less stress. Unfortunately, I feel more stressed than ever.
What remains is a set of tedious tasks that will consume a great deal of my time as well as be emotionally taxing. To give you a clearer picture of what remains, I’ve outlined my Minimization To Do List below:
The Minimization To Do List
- Paperwork – A mountain of paperwork from the past 3 decades of school and adult life awaits me. I have to sort through all of it to determine what I can get rid of, what I have to keep, and what I want to scan before tossing. Then the tedious task of scanning the paperwork that I decide to keep electronically.
- Items to Sell – There are a few items I want to try to sell because I think I can get $10-$20 for them on eBay or Craigslist. But these transactions take time and are a hassle. As an introvert, Craigslist always involves an extra layer of stress. eBay is better, but still, it requires a fair amount of time and effort.
- Old Photos – Digital photos came onto the scene when I was in my mid 20’s. This means large portions of my life only exist on old school photographs. More sorting and scanning will be necessary.
- Sentimental Items – I’m not very sentimental by nature, but I do have a handful of items that I just can’t bring myself to get rid of. But they also don’t bring a lot of value to my day-to-day life.
- Inventory of What Remains
- Round 2 – Revisit all these categories 6 months to a year down the road to determine if further minimization is possible.
Now that the low-hanging fruit is out-of-the-way, it seems the real work of minimization can begin. It’s tempting to congratulate myself on my success and pack the remaining paperwork, photos, and other miscellaneous items back into boxes and shove them in the closet.
After all, what’ left over wouldn’t fill more than 3-4 boxes. I could easily stack those boxes in a corner of a closet and forget all about them. Will my life really be any different with an extra couple of square feet of closet space? Is the time it will take to complete the Minimization To Do List really worth gaining a couple extra square feet of closet space?
With these questions, I’m now at a crossroads in my Minimalist Journey. I have to define what minimalism means to me. If it is simply about removing my personal clutter from my life, then I think it’s fair to say mission accomplished.
However, if minimalism is a philosophy in which I want to live my life, then I still have a lot more work to do. Not just the work of completing the To Do List, but also the work of allowing minimalism to permeate all other aspects of my life.
UPDATE: Thank you to Physician on FIRE for the Sunday Best Shoutout! If you are a Physician on FIRE reader, be sure to check out his recent responses to my Random Questions Challenge. You may learn a thing or two about him you didn’t know before!