On Scaling Down

Sunday, October 26, 2014

This is Day 26 of a 31 Day writing challenge. To read more about my 31 Days series and to catch up on any posts you've missed, be sure to check out my post 31 Days of INSPIRE!

This whole month of 31 Days of INSPIRE!, I've been talking a lot about the various aspects of inspiration, including people and quotes that inspire me.

But I haven't talked as much about what I've actually been inspired to do. So today I want to take a bit of time to tell you a little about a new project of mine and my reasons behind it.

I don't want any beating around the bush with this, so let me just cut right to the case- I've decided to start getting rid of everything I don't need or really want. That's right: everything

This means collections I don't actually enjoy, clothes I don't wear, stuff I no longer use... I might even go so far as to get rid of books I don't really like. (This will be difficult for a book-lover like me.)

Some people call it minimalism

I guess I just call it scaling down.

There are quite a lot of blogs about minimalism and people's journey towards letting go of stuff, and I even found some 31 Days series about it. (Most notably this one.)

As I read these stories, I started to realize that I have more stuff than I really need. Things I never use anymore and don't really care to keep but still have because they've been given to me or because I "just know" I'll need it some day.

But I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm not going to continue holding onto things that I no longer need or want. After all, it makes no sense to keep stuff I don't care about.

So starting this past week, I've been going through all of my various drawers. I look at every item I take out, and ask a few serious questions. Have I used it in the past two or three months? Is there any reason why I need it? Do I really need it?

If the answer is no, than out it goes!

And it's interesting how good it feels to get rid of things I don't need or want. Looking at a shelf that's been emptied of stuff I never use anymore, I just feel so accomplished.

I've already made such great progress on my room! Several shelves I thought I needed are quickly becoming superfluous. I have a fairly large box of stuff that needs to go. My dresser top is nice and tidy. The closet and drawers only have clothes I actually wear.

But it can't stop here.

Just choosing to clean my room isn't enough. This isn't a one-time project, anymore. It's a lifestyle change.

 I'm not going to continue amassing things that I don't need. This obviously means that buying something I'm not going to use is absolutely off the table! But it's not just that. It also means that if people give me something I really don't need (hand-me-down clothes, for instance), I'm not going to hang onto it simply because it was a "gift." 

I mean, it doesn't make sense! Gifts aren't supposed to entrap you. They're not meant to tie you down.

But they will if you let them.

So to anyone who gives me stuff, I'm just going to say it up front- I may or may not end up keeping it. It's nothing personal. I (probably) don't have anything against you. It's just that I can't keep on trying to please people.

I have to be me. And this is who I am.

If you'd like to read a little more about minimalism and scaling down, here are a few resources for you to check out!

- Be More With Less 
- Becoming Minimalist

- Tiny Living: Declutter

- The Minimalists: 21 Day Journey Into Minimalism

- Everyday Modern: Go Minimalist


My question for you is what do you think about the idea of minimalism? Had you heard about it before or ever considered it? I always enjoy hearing what you have to say, so be sure to leave your response in the comment section below or over at my Facebook page!

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  1. When I moved a year ago, I got rid of a lot of clothes; stuff I no longer wear and other stuff; books, etc. It felt so good to get rid of the stuff I was no longer using and that someone else maybe could benefit from. Good for you for minimizing! :)

    1. I'm definitely experiencing how good it feels to get rid of things, right now. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  2. I agree, there is freedom in letting go of things. I recently cleaned out my closet and was amazed by the process. Now to teach my children to do that...
    (but books, I don't think I could let go of the books)

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, today! Going through the books is definitely a difficult process for me. I love books, and the thought of getting rid of them is hard. But I know that there are books on that shelf that I haven't read in years and probably never will again. And I'll definitely be keeping the ones I still enjoy!

  3. Every so often I go on a spree and clean out everything we don't use/need, and determine to not let it get that way again --- but gifts are the hardest! I don't want to offend anyone...

    1. Yes- gifts are what got in the way of me doing this years ago! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  5. Yes! I need to do this SO BAD! Our garage has been begging me to clean it for months...I seriously hear it screaming in my sleep! We simply have too much...and truthfully, too much o anything isn't a good thing. Great resources here! Thanks!

    1. As a group, we have definitely gotten our idea of "success" warped into thinking that "more" is better. Hopefully those links are helpful in getting you started in your garage. Best of luck, and thank you for leaving your thoughts today!

  6. If I am feeling anxious and stressed, nothing makes me feel better than to grab a trash bag and start getting rid of all the extra stuff...countertops, junk drawers, clothes, etc. Thank you for sharing your young wisdom. Bless you with GREAT JOY on your journey with Jesus!

    1. It has definitely been a huge stress-reliever to have these things gone. (Or nearly gone- still need to get the box out of the house.) Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement!