Friday, April 30, 2010

Start with your closet


Since mentioning my interest in pursuing the art of minimalism, I have to admit, I haven't accomplished much. Okay, anything.

The funny thing is, the first thing I want to do is simple. I remember a couple of times as a teenager, wishing to loose some of my embarrassing flab and get fit, I went nuts lifting weights and just about killed myself. Needless to say, the habit didn't stick. I was in too big of a hurry, biting off more than I could chew.

I look at this, as well as just about anything new, with the same mindset. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, as the saying goes.

So I decided to start with the smallest space in my house, the closet. Actually, now that I think about it, I should probably start smaller, with the dresser. Every weekend, I swear I'm going to dive in and weed out all the stuff I don't wear anymore.

Part of the problem for me is, I've been fit and overweight both several times in my life. I'm not attached to many of my clothes for any reason other than "I might loose weight again someday and I'll need this!"

Well, if you have a relatively healthy salary, you can always buy new clothes, so go ahead and get rid of what you have that doesn't fit. If you're like me, however, and money is tight, you may not have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe every time you drop a few pounds.

But rather than have it sit in your closet, cluttering things up, I think it's worth it to invest in a few large tupperware designed for clothes. Pack it up, store it in the attic and out of the way.

Still, I think there's a lot of stuff that I've been hanging on to that I can give to charity, plus old belts and socks that I never, ever wear. Plus, there's the indoor soccer gear I hang onto in case I ever decide to embarrass myself in public again (that's a hard one, because good indoor shoes are expensive!).

Mostly, I enjoy the feeling of being free of even the smallest amount of unnecessary "baggage." I find it interesting, by the way, that a term like "baggage" or "luggage" is often used to describe unwanted, burdensome emotional attachments. It's strange how closely unnecessary "stuff" is related to unnecessary emotional ties. Let go of physical things is strangely close to letting go of mental things, both of which have a way of weighing us down.

I may not throw out the whole suitcase this weekend, but at least it will feel a little lighter.

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