I'm Alex Pino and I presented at the Tumbleweed Miami Tiny House Workshop about minimalist living. Every Monday please join me for a new post about minimalism with practical tips and strategies to create a less cluttered life. After you read this post, you'll get to grasp some of the ideas that I shared and how you can put them into practice today and experience real results.
Most of you already know you want to simplify your life. You want less clutter, stuff, square footage, and overall just more freedom. The question is, where are you in regards to that right now? How much stuff do you have to get rid of now. I was surprised yet relieved when I found out that some of the people who were attending the workshop came from a family of hoarders and that they had tons of work to do before they could ever consider themselves “simple” or even “minimalist”.
What's really stopping you from getting rid of your clutter?
Most of us know that we want simpler lives already we just haven't gotten ourselves to take action towards it yet, but why not? Could it be that giving ourselves a powerful enough reason to start is harder than actually doing it? I think so. One way to overcome this is to dig deep within yourself and figure out why the heck you really want this freedom that you're looking for. Freedom itself is just way too general. So let's get more specific.
Do you want to move into a tiny house because you want to change your career, hate your job, don't like where you live, are frustrated with corrupt corporations, or maybe just because you just want to spend more time with the people in your life? Take your time with this because only something this meaningful will give you the power to separate yourself from your stuff. I believe that these are the “juicy” ideas that give you the drive to part with your unimportant stuff and keep it that way.
This is also the driving force that will get you to build your home and make this dream of yours a reality... step by step. Open up a blank word document on your computer right now and make ten bullet points then list some exciting goals you have, which you haven't yet achieved. Goals that excite you.
Here are five of my own exciting goals which help drive me towards “minimalism”, yours might be different:
- To travel throughout the United States
- To build and live in a mortgage-free tiny house
- To enjoy fun times with my niece and nephews
- To live out of a backpack and travel around for 3 months
- To inspire and help other people who want to simplify and live more passionately
Do you see how these goals I have for myself might create a little leverage for me? For example, if I want to help other people simplify, I should do it myself, too. I might like having three computers right now, but will that get me the excitement to live out of a backpack and travel for several months? Nope. So I've got work to do, too!
Common mindsets that will not serve you when simplifying
Here are some of the common mindsets that I've found which have kept people like you and me from freeing ourselves from our clutter:
- “I might need this [widget] later and I paid good money for it in [year].”
- “This was my grandfather's first television, and he was in the Cold War.”
- “These are worth $3 each on eBay and I have 100 of them.”
- “My storage unit is packed from the floor to the roof, where do I even begin?”
Notice the difference between these bullet points (excuses) and the ones above (goals). Everyone has excuses because they're easy to create. Choose to focus on goals instead because they give you the mental power to move forward instead of one step forward, and two steps back, like some folks do (including myself at times).
Stay tuned for Part II of this post next week!
Alex Pino is an authorized Tumbleweed Tiny House affiliate who blogs about tiny houses and simple living over at http://www.tinyhousetalk.com/.