Minimize to maximize
Two weeks ago, I decided that I had had enough. Clothes I never wore, shoes that barely fit, books I didn’t even like and stacks of old assignments, seemed to be sucking me in like an all-consuming vortex.
Stuff. I just had too much of it.
I started with my closet. I decided that I was going to donate everything I hadn’t worn in the past three months. Part of me kept saying, “Not that one, it was expensive!” or “You’re going to need a hideous neon-blue pencil skirt someday!” Instead of listening, I grit my teeth and kept pulling things out of my wardrobe. After that, it was on to my jewelry and makeup. Old lipsticks, half-used mascaras and eyeliners in colors I was never going to wear were tossed out. I placed all the things I’d decided to get rid of in opaque black bags so I wouldn’t have a chance to second guess my decision to get rid of them.
Looking around at my progress, I decided that I might as well finish what I had started. And so, rather warily if I’m being honest, I opened up the gaping black hole I call my backpack. I slowly filed away old assignments, pulled out old receipts and threw away stray gum wrappers and instructions to labs I had already completed. I even booted up my laptop and organized all of my documents into folders, getting rid of hundreds of old assignments.
Finally, almost seven hours later, I was done. Three massive black bags stood in front of me, and I drove them out to the local Goodwill before I lost my nerve. As they were carried away, I felt a drop in the pit of my stomach. But it was too late, and I couldn’t take back my decision now. Instead, I just treated myself to some frozen yogurt before driving back home.
Upon arriving home again, I looked around my room. Part of me assumed that I’d notice the things that were no longer there, but instead I found myself noticing all the things that still surrounded me. My favorite Essie nail polish, a Christmas mug from my grandma and a framed Polaroid of my best friend sat on the counter opposite me. It took me a second to realize that I was grinning wider than the Cheshire Cat.
Before, the sheer amount of stuff I had kept me from appreciating anything I owned. The belongings were weighing me down, and keeping me from taking notice of the things that really mattered. I’ve learned the importance of taking a moment to look around and evaluate whether the things that surround me are somehow contributing to my life. I encourage you to do the same, and take a day to simply cleanse. It can feel like you’re shedding an old skin, and the result is both refreshing and uplifting.