As readers know, there has been a major push toward minimalism around these parts over the last few months. The goal has been to go from clutter to minimalist in just ten weeks. It’s an important and difficult challenge—one that everybody should try!
When you think of “minimalism” what do you think of? If you’re like most people, you probably think about “making do with less” or “not letting clutter take over.” Both of these things are right but there is more to it than that. You can get rid of bag after bag of clutter and things you don’t need but this doesn’t actually curb the need most people have to have everything they own close by at all times.
If you really want to live a minimalist lifestyle you have to find a way to get past this. One of the best ways to do this, believe it or not, is with a storage unit. Renting a storage unit gives you a place to put all of those things that you know you actually will use again but that you do not actually need to have on hand to lead a “normal” lifestyle. A storage unit is a great place to store holiday decorations, off-season clothing that is waiting for someone to grow into it, and highly sentimental items that you want to save and pass down but that just make your home feel cluttered.
Gathering up all of these things and putting them in a storage unit (around here and in Dallas, a lot of people go with Uncle Bob’s storage units because they’re affordable and climate controlled) does two things.
- It gets it out of the way—suddenly your house feels a lot less cluttered!
- It gives you an idea of what is actually cluttering up your house.
Now you can sort through the rest of the stuff taking up space in your home. Now you can go through a closet and look at each item and think “have I used this in the last twelve months?” and if the answer is no, you can donate it to the Goodwill without worrying that your over zealousness is causing you to toss out something you will actually miss later on.
Of course, you still have to be careful. It’s easy to use the storage unit as a crutch to put off the sorting until later. It’s tempting to simply move the clutter to the storage unit “just in case” you realize that you really want those broken plastic IKEA cups after all. Work hard to avoid this temptation!
A good trick to keep this from happening is to choose a small storage unit. If the unit is small you won’t be able to put things you don’t actually need in there.
Remember, minimalism isn’t only about “going without.” It’s about choosing not to fill back up. It’s about making the most of what you do have. It’s about figuring out what you truly need for survival and happiness as opposed to creature comforts that you want because they enable laziness.
It takes work and practice. We’re still figuring it out over here. How are your own minimalism projects going?
This has been a guest post.