Recently I heard author Joshua Becker(@joshua_becker) interviewed on the radio. He made this statement, “organizing isn’t minimizing.” He’s the author of several books, two of which are The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own; and Clutter-free with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home.
Becker discusses the benefits a family can experience if they reduce the amount of “stuff” they have and simplify their lives. He addresses parents, explaining how they can set the standard for how much stuff their kids have, and the expectation with family members about gift giving.
This #minimalist mindset is said to be a trend among the gen x’ers. Research shows they prefer to spend their money on experiences like traveling, rather than big homes and fancy cars. This generation doesn’t want a lot of stuff handed down to them. It makes you wonder about all of the short-term storage units being built. Really, we have so much stuff that the next generation doesn’t want, that we store it — just in case.
Becker’s statement that organizing isn’t minimizing makes complete sense. You can rearrange a dozen boxes in an attic, or stack them neatly out of the way in the garage, but there are still a dozen boxes.
To minimize you must eliminate. Go ahead, if you haven’t worn something in two cycles of seasons, you aren’t going to! Let it go. You’d be surprised what else you might find in your closet to wear. If you don’t love those books on your shelf, sell them! My book problem is that many of my favorites are by authors I know, or have been autographed.
My mother never understood why I didn’t want a lot of trinket things sitting around on my tables and mantel. Well, those statuettes serve no function and they collect dust. The few I have were gifts and have meaning beyond the aesthetics. But that’s the difference between her generation and mine. She was raised to be a housewife. Homes were “decorated” not “staged.” The home design for the times was pictures hung in great collages on the wall and nick nacks on all flat surfaces.
Having a simplistic space can temper the noise of life. Order in our space can minimize the chaos that whirls through our minds.
Yep, it’s Christmas time and I’m talking about not having too much stuff. It is the time of year when retail marketing is at its extreme. It is the “political ad season” for retail. You must have, you can’t live without, wouldn’t your life be better if, time of year. Believe me, I’m not downing gift giving. Even in choosing a gift, there is an art to not just choosing anything. But that’s a topic for another blog.
For now, as you are making space for all the new stuff, consider what you need, and what needs to be passed along.