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Living Minimally (as possible)

movingperson

Not me…thankfully

Well, hi there! I recently relocated to a different part of the Twin Cities and during my packing process all I could think about was how grateful I am I don’t have so much pointless crap stuff to move!

fire

There are many times in my life I had to live as minimally as possible. My experience on the East Coast with AmeriCorps NCCC had me deploy to numerous disaster relief projects (i.e. flood, tornado, wildfire) with only one large, red bag….for a year. I’m not kidding. It was always impressive how much stuff myself and my team could shove in our one large, red bag. There were times I still didn’t use some of the clothes I packed, or dig into the books I planned on reading. It taught me how to really decipher what I would truly need AND use for the next 6-week deployment. (Photos: Above is a picture of me working a wildfire in Virginia. Below is a picture from a community service project in Virginia.)

nccc1

Another time I lived somewhat (okay, extraordinarily) minimal was on the West Coast in Oregon when I was working for an environmentally-conscious non-profit and worked outside all day, every day. On the job you to were not wearing dangley earrings or high heels….but more like work gloves and comfortable work shoes. Although packing for 6 months for Oregon was easier after AmeriCorps, it still difficult since I limited myself to two bags and my bike. Sure I wasn’t packing extra dresses or jeans, but how many shoes do I need? Shirts will I wear? Towels will I use? I’m still trying to figure out how I packed everything. My mom sent me a lot of goodies (because she’s  the best) and so I probably came back with 2 1/2 bags and my bike….I can honestly say I didn’t even wear some of the shirts I packed.

I still find myself organizing things in small containers and not having more than one of most things. (Except for my books and scarves…I love my books and scarves.) I have gotten extremely creative with different outfits and found more value in my life with things that I cannot buy. Cheesy, yes, but really…when you do not have a lot of things to temporarily fill a happiness void (or whatever) you find other hobbies and value in invaluable things like phone conversations, walks outside, playing music, etc. Try it! Ask yourself what do you really need AND will use in your bedroom? What do you really need AND will use in your car? Office? Anywhere?

Living simply, or simpler, will reduce your stress. I had a client lose 5 lbs and reduced her stress level just from cleaning her messy back room. The stress from that room was causing an unknown underlying stress and weight gain.Simplifying your life will cause less distractions, less money spent, less used time, and more clarity. By letting items go you will create more opportunities for other hobbies, perhaps save money, and create more time for purpose YOUR purpose.

So, in the next month I encourage you to:

1. Unsubscribe from at least one email (seriously, when is the last time you looked at that one e-magazine?)

2. Clean out your dresser

3. Clean out your closet

4. Clean out at least one of your kitchen spice/food cupboards

5. Donate any unused dresser, closet and kitchen items to a local Goodwill, Salvation Army or thrift store.

That’s it! It seems like a lot, but unsubscribing takes about 0.8 seconds, cleaning might take around an hour, and donating (depending how close a facility is) would take about 30 minutes. One hour thirty minutes and 0.8 seconds of your life. You can do it!

In this post I am talk about simplifying your life specifically by reducing materialistic/clothing items, but there are many other ways to simplify your life. Read below for more information.

See other articles on minimal/simplistic living:

Redefining the Meaning of Health’s article

Simple Living Manifesto’s article

Be More with Less’s article

Any other tips or tricks to simplify your life and live minimally? Let me know!

Thanks for reading,

Chelsea

Twitter –> @InPower Coach

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