Over the last two weeks, I’ve sold much of what filled my house. I’m past the point of being frugal, and well into the world of minimalism and austerity. I mean, it’s empty in here, readers.
All of my physical books are for sale. I have a TV stand, but I sold my TV and Apple device. It’s the beginning of summer, but I already sold my air conditioner. Oh, I just sold my car, too.
With each sale, I feel this push and pull inside me; the wonderful feeling of letting go, which brings both loss and freedom. I’m free to spend the money inappropriately, but I won’t. I’m free to buy more stuff before I move, but I won’t. I’m free to feel loss, and I might.
Like a reflection of the bare rooms in my apartment, emptiness might affect me. It feels… lonely to be bare — like what I own hugs and tucks me in at night (I wish!). Everyone from my parents to random visitors have remarked at the empty nature of my home in the past. I’m curious what they’d think now.
Part of me wonders why I crave to fill every nook and cranny with goods. Why is it more natural for me to fill a house than empty it? Why do I feel embarrassed to welcome people into my home without stuff occupying the space?
I’m living with an everything-must-go mentality right now. A fire sale of sorts. And every purchase that goes against my new, frugal self seems to be in violation of my debt reduction plan. I don’t want that to happen.
I can’t predict how I’ll feel over the coming months; for now, I’m taking action to change my life. All that remains is me — that’s the one consistency. What fills my room is me — for better and for worse.
Bravo! Stuff is stupid. It just weighs you down. I once made a list of all the stuff I need in my life. It’s surprisingly short. I can fit everything I own into 2 Ford Explorers if I had to.
Again, bravo! Some of the most interesting people I know have few possessions.
Fit is the New Poor (@fitisthenewpoor) says
I very much admire your thinking and persistence with this. We are thinking of beginning this now that we are thinking of having children within the next year or two. We know how much “gear” comes with a child, so we figure that we should probably start cutting down our life as much as possible.
Resist the urge to buy all the stuff they market for kids. As a parent, I can tell you most of it is not necessary, especially the baby stuff!
Nice work! I, too, admire your efforts. We moved from a small basement apartment to a two-bedroom apartment, and I don’t really feel the need to furnish it beyond what’s practical, and what we already have. My mom keeps bothering me about it, but I think we could actually get rid of some stuff. I think it’s natural to want to fill your house with things because it’s what everyone does! Things are comforting. Good for you for going against that.
Dave @ The New York Budget says
Nicely done! I think you are right – people hide behind their stuff to a certain degree. Good for you. For me, it’s a bit tough because I have to balance the amount of stuff I have with my girlfriend. The fact that she wants to keep a small “library” of books in our apartment is, admittedly, stressful.
J. Money says
Very interesting!!! You seem to have an addictive behavior (as do I), but when applied to something GOOD it’s awesome 🙂 Let’s just hope you don’t turn around later and re-fill everything up! Haha… Been trying to declutter more at our place too, but we keep refilling with kids stuff 🙂
Aldo @ MDN says
Nice job. I should follow your footsteps and get rid of most of my stuff… most, not all. I can think of a few things that I have no use for whatsoever.
Addison @ Cashville Skyline says
Awesome, Sam! You’ve inspired me to de-clutter this weekend. I’ve never been much of a hoarder, but I certainly have things I don’t need.
debt debs says
I also want to get on the minimalism bandwagon. My husband is a bit of a pack rack though, and I fear I have my work cut out for me. Enjoy!
Sam Lustgarten says
Haha! That could be tough, Debs. Thankfully, when it comes to clearing out everything, it’s just up to me.
The Simple White Rabbit says
My husband has packrat tendencies but once he realized that I wasn’t asking him to get rid of everything all at once (we’re decluttering in a much more gradual way than Sam) and that when we’re done we’ll move to a smaller, cheaper & easier to maintain house, he got pretty excited about it. He’s still more excited about me getting rid of MY stuff than his 😉 but he’s working on it.
Sam Lustgarten says
You’re right. Things are leaving my house at a pretty rapid rate, but it takes time to declutter. I’ve been fortunate to use some of my summer break to get through some of this stuff. Hopefully I can keep it up and continue to save money in the process! 🙂
I’m working my way through the house sorting the clutter room by room. If it’s been unused for the last year it needs to go.
Jason @ Phroogal says
I had a hard time letting go of stuff but when I finally got rid of the first item then the next and then the rest I felt light. I didn’t feel encumbered or tied down. Great feeling.
Pat @ MinimallyHappy says
That’s awesome! I’ve recently jumped on the minimalism bandwagon. Seems like you’ve done quite well in such a short time!! I have a LOT of crap (basement full of boxes) and my wife isn’t exactly on board (yet, haha), so it’s going to be a long process. I’m loving it so far though and am feeling motivated to keep going. I’ve already setup a very large donation pile in my garage and I feel better with every piece I add to that pile.
Eventually no-thing remains
I feel close to your post and have gone through the similar phase in my life and now I am happier even though I have let go lot of things from my life and mind. The emptiness is awesome too.