My closet is about the size of my big toenail. For real though, I am constantly purging clothing because there just isn’t anywhere to store it. I’ve already taken over my seven-year-old son’s closet with my “part-time TV gig clothing”. My clothing closet is likely meant to store a couple of winter coats and old bridesmaids dresses, but it’s currently a healthy combination of flannel shirts, various gray sweaters in 50 different shades (ok, maybe more like 11), sweatshirts and Ohana gear. I have closet envy whenever I see a closet that is the size of my bathroom. Bad example. Most walk-in closets are bigger than my bathroom. You know what I mean… those closets you can “walk-in” to. Why am I envious? Is it because of their ability to organize their stuff so nicely, or because they can do a pirouette between their color-coordinated blouses and shoe shelves? I remind myself that having more space often leads to having more stuff; which isn’t always a good thing, as I have learned from 2 men who decided to change their lifestyle.
I recently watched “Minimalism” on Netflix, and was so inspired by their desire to live more freely with less material objects. In an effort to help people end their obsession with stuff, minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus share that, “Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”
Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Who would have thought that getting rid of material things and living more simply would bring freedom. They share that, “Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. We focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps make that room.”
I need to be clear: I am certainly not a minimalist. I store my pots and pans in my oven because I don’t have any room in my kitchen cabinets. In my defense, I don’t have many cabinets. But, I am inspired by the message and working hard everyday to live more fully with less things.
Watching “Tiny House Nation” with my kids has been a real eye-opener, too. It’s amazing how people can downsize so drastically and find themselves happier than ever before. My kids keep saying “We want to live in a tiny house!” Dude, we already do! It’s like a human pinball machine over here. I easily get wrapped up in what I need to have to feel complete or accomplished as a homeowner (I talk more about my garage envy here). Yet, I think these shows serve as a healthy reminder to change the conversation that our consumer-driven society is having. Change our focus from “I’m better & more successful with a big house and lots of expensive stuff” to “I’m better & more successful with the happiness in my life and the people I share it with.” I try to always look at my home as the cozy place where we get to share memories, holidays, life. It’s not much, it’s not fancy, and I will be making a dining room table out of my kids’ 2 desks for Thanksgiving because we don’t have a table to sit at. Nor do we have a dining room. I don’t even have matching dinner plates or fine china (because I’m not fancy) so I got some matching ones at the Dollar Tree. And, I got some plastic champagne flutes. Boom. Done.
This Thanksgiving holiday, we will all be minimizing what we normally enjoy due to COVID-19. Let’s turn our perspective towards all the many wonderful moments we get to share and enjoy. In Josh & Ryan’s words: Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which aren’t things at all. Happy Thanksgiving to you & all the many things you have that aren’t things at all.