A Victory & A Defeat

Post #3 in the Journey to Minimalism Series

Clothes – A Victory

Immersion has led it’s way to action. I’ve spent the day cleaning out my closet of clothes. While I’ve only just begun the pairing down process, I’m feeling good about what I’ve accomplished.

I’ve gotten rid of half of my clothes. Of the items remaining, I already have my eye on a few that will need to go. I’ve had little to no emotional reaction to this process. There most definitely is not any sense of loss. If anything I feel liberated.

There is the odd sentimental item that I’m unsure of what to do with. One of those items is a shirt of my father’s that I continue to wear, which makes that decision easier. The other is a tie he received.

The reason I kept the tie was because of the story that came with it. I remember him telling me the odd tale of how the tie came into his possession. He was at a business dinner with colleagues and a group of potential customers. He noticed a gentleman wearing a pink panther tie and complimented it. The gentleman proceeded to take the tie off and insist that my father take it as a gift. My father initially protested this gesture, but the gentleman insisted.

Now I have it, having never worn it and with no intention of ever wearing it in the future. It takes up no closet space, so it is easy to justify keeping it. But it also brings no value to my life, which means it does not fit my minimalistic goals.

Eventually a picture of it along with this account of the story may be all that remain. For the time being it will hang in my closet a little while longer as I continue to grow accustom to Minimalism.

Books – A Defeat

Riding high from my closet purge, I headed into the office where I have a closet full of boxes. Most of these boxes contain books. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that these books are symbolic of a period in my life in which I was especially focused in on the value of acquiring knowledge.

About six months ago, I ruthlessly cut my book collection in half. This meant giving away an estimated 500-750 books. Those that remained were deemed keepers. That is to say that their symbolic value was too hard to let go of.

The reality is I have no intention of reading them (either again or for the first time). However I’ve placed some value on them that goes beyond what they once were to me (conduits of knowledge and insight).

The room itself is a mess, which took a bit of the wind out of my sail. It wasn’t until I pulled the first couple of boxes from the closet that I completely lost my steam. I realized I wasn’t quite ready to let go; at least not yet.

I’ll continue to immerse myself in the minimalism philosophy and expose myself to a variety of voices who are advocates of minimalism. Then I’ll try again.

6 Comments

  1. I too feel good about getting rid of cloths that I no longer wear. I am far from being a cloths horse, but my closet does seem to fill up from time to time. Most of the time, I donate them. If I am feeling ambitious I will sell them on eBay.

    With my books, I only keep my investing books. I love to read fiction and some true crime books too. I pass them on to others to read. I don’t care if I ever get them back. I rather know that others are enjoying them than have them sit on my shelf.

    1. Thanks for reading Dave! I wish I had more energy to sell things online, but most of our stuff gets donated. The tax deduction is the closest I get from recouping any money. I need to work on reframing how I look at my books. I like your perspective! The books are of more value when someone is enjoying them rather than sitting on my shelf. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

  2. Minimalism is challenging. I’ve found myself struggling with the clutter that seems to build up in our house. Maybe just 1-in-1-out will do for now. Baby steps right? Good read.

  3. I experienced the same success minimizing my wardrobe before leaving for college about a year ago. Space is so limited in dorms that minimalism is almost a requirement.

    1. I remember those days! I wish I had kept up with the simple living of my college days. The problem I had is when I moved into a larger place, I filled that space with more stuff, big mistake! Thanks for stopping by Sean, good to see you here! I hope you have a good end to your semester.

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