Many years ago, I avidly followed Dusti Arab’s minimalist writings. Although she doesn’t talk so much about minimalism today, she still has two ebooks available on Amazon (The Minimalist Mom* being the one I would recommend of the two). I love her no-crap approach to paring down. If you really want to wipe the slate clean, you could do worse than to follow her advice. She is on the extreme end of minimalism, and you can see that in her writing. She suggests (with few exceptions) that anything you haven’t used in 30 days needs to go.
When I first read this, it really made me think about why we hold onto so much stuff.
She states that you only really need four things:
- hygiene items
- a bed
Essentially, she’s absolutely right.
Assuming you have a roof over your head, those are the bare essentials for living. For most of us, being this extreme is not practical, or even desirable, but put aside judgement for a moment and think about what it would be like…
A Clean Slate
Imaging your house bare of everything except the the things listed above.
Aside from the massive space you would suddenly find yourself living in (see also Your House Is Not Too Small), what would happen to your life?
You’d need to do something with your time, so what would you do?
You would probably end up buying some things, so what would you buy?
What kind of life would you build if you started all over again?
Would it look anything like what you currently have, or would it be something completely different?
The beauty of this kind of exercise is it temporarily frees us from everything we have and allows us to imagine something completely different.
Who would you be?
Would you still be the same without all of your things?
As much as I love the idea of giving away almost everything, I am not yet able to be so ruthless. However, thinking about what I would do with my time and energy if I lived in an almost empty house makes it easier for me to look at my things with fresh eyes and let them go.
To completely wipe the slate clean is a radical change for most of us. But you don’t have to do it to understand how it can benefit you. What if you imagine it, and work from there? If you got rid of everything, you would still end up doing something.
What would it be?
- Close your eyes and imagine for a moment your house empty of everything except the essentials.
- Think about what you would be drawn to doing with your time.
- Open your eyes and think about what you spend your time on now.
- Is there anything you’re currently doing that you can let go of?
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