OMG I am a bad Minimalist!!! Art Studio Move Wake Up Callllll

in #minimalism6 years ago (edited)

I got a new roommate, and that meant I had to deconstruct my art studio / office I had set up in my spare room. I should have taken before and after pictures, but imagine a somewhat tidy room with a big table, and my computer on it...and all the paints, papers, materials, etc, in the bedroom closet on shelves. Allll nice and everything all in order. Well. I had to move a shelf into the hallway and try to cram every single thing I had into my bedroom or onto this shelf. As I emptied the room, I realized I still have SO MUCH STUFF even though I am constantly trying to downsize.

Here is some of my stuff crammed on the shelf in the hall in a haphazard way


I got overwhelmed and decided to take it little by little over the next couple weeks rather than spend 10 hours picking through it all. I did fill up a huge garbage bag of old mail and weird random items that I had no idea how they even were in my possession. That felt good. But I still have all these things that honestly I am not using a lot right now, but when I do get creative they come in handy.

Take for example, this little tray of vintage thread


I got this at a garage sale like 8 years ago. There used to be a ton more of it but I slowly use it over the years. In fact I hav e never had to buy thread at the fabric store in all that time, thanks to the 50 cents I spent 8 years ago. But its a thing that takes up space.

I am always trying to balance out my desire to save money, with my desire to not have things.

I have been very low income for most of my life. So an item like this box of thread, gets saved for a long time, so that I don't have to spend $2 to fix torn clothing. Its pretty nice. I am like this with paint too. I have paint around for years and years but its so nice to not have to go to the store when I want to create art. I actually kind of hate going in stores. So its not just the expense of money, but the expense of time spent hunting around stores for affordable items and tools.

Also, like 5 years ago I bought a whole case of paper from Staples, and I still havent used it all. Its just all here waiting for me when I need it. But it turns out to be kind of a lot, and it takes up space. For the past year or so, I dont even let myself go to garage sales, because even though I am an excellent bargain hunter and do use the items I find, it might take me 5 years to use that thing up... and meanwhile where do I store it?

The emotions of stuff

One of the biggest reasons we all hang onto stuff is because it has some sort of emotional value. Maybe it just provides security and comfort to own way too many soft bath towels. Maybe a full kitchen makes you feel good, even though all the cabinets are bursting with stuff, and you cant ever find things you need, and theres stuff you havent touched in years. The emotional value is that sense of comfort and security.

However, when you let things go, it can also be so freeing and liberating. Its a balance though. You cant just dump everything without applying a little thought, and this process takes time.

So I just try and spend a little time each day tending to Minimalism. Having to move all my crap out of my studio, and into my bedroom and the hall, has shown me some new crap i need to downsize, and instead of being overwhelmed, I am just going to keep picking through.. little by little...

The emotional impact of trying new habits

I wanted to note that its good to pay attention to what your emotions and thoughts are doing when you adopt new habits. I tend to get really a lot of shame and guilt. OH NO I SHOULD NOT HAVE ALL THIS STUFF, is an example of how those thoughts work for me. Or if I only spend 20 minutes sort of getting through one area in the house, the rest of the day I might see some little clutter thing and my thoughts will beat me up "I should really take care of that, i suck because i am just sitting here writing instead of decluttering! " Or something like that . I am trying to address these thoughts in the same way I address my piles of shit.

Negative thoughts are just like physical stuff

They are just there. They dont have to be kept. You can choose which ones motivate or inspire you I suppose, but really, you can also chuck them into the trash, or turn them into something else.

Are any of you Minimalists? What kinds of emotions do you go through in relationship to your stuff?

See you soon


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I move a lot. There's no real reason for it. I'm like Marry Poppins. When the wind changes direction I float off to terrorize a new family. Any time I'm about to buy something big or pointless I think, "I'm going to have to move that someday." I wouldn't say I'm a minimalist, but it definitely helps me keep my clutter levels down to a bare minimum.

Love it. Yeah in the back of my mind I am hoping to be a lot like you in a couple years when my son is 18. My goal is to only have like a carload of stuff by then :)

"What, I can't get rid of that, I'm going to need that someday! No, I can't get rid of that either, I like having that."
That's my thought pattern a lot of times when trying to downsize.
It can definitely be a struggle, especially when you actually do use stuff once in a while, like your bargain thread.
I'd have a rough time moving into a tiny house because half of my crap wouldn't fit, especially the big stuff like speakers and amplifiers...

yeah that is my dilemma right now. I am trying to fit an entire office/art studio into my bedroom and then the overflow into the hall... YIKES!!!

I would love to be a minimalist somedays- most days really. There used to be a point, further back a decade or so, that I liked the idea of a house loaded with, well for lack of a better word-crap, it felt cozy and homey and all of that. But now, I think I would be happy to see my hardwood almost entirely empty save for bookshelves as far as the eye can see.

yes I really equate clear space with clear mind. I do think stuff makes a house feel cozy sometimes too... Its been taking me months to slowly unload, and now I just invited a roomate to move in... with all his crap! He doesn't have a TON of stuff, but it was just one more person worth of kitchen items, food, cleaning supplies etc. And my house isnt very big. But I am getting it all reorganized best I can... For me its a bit of a mental health thing too because if there is too much stuff all around i start losing my glasses, keys, wallet... all over the place... and i start to feel like a nutty professor. Having it as visually clear as possible really helps me get through the day. I am not to the level I want to be, but I am getting there little by little all the time. Maybe in a couple years I will reach "room emptiness" level... :)

yup, to much clutter makes me go a bit crazy sometimes and, what worse is that I create some other that clutter myself. I also like things to be visibly clear but try explaining that to a four year old.

hahahaha i know.. i am a single mom i get that so well. My 16 year old is a huge reason i cut myself so much slack. I just cant, with work and him, and the dog, and everything else. At 16 he has started doing stuff he was doing when he was 4 like leave watermelon rinds all over the house. KIDS! :) I think he kind of does understand the nice feeling that clear tables and clear counters gives .. but he just is too spacy to help maintain that idea haha

I don't think I want to imagine my son at 16, I can barely comprehend that he is already 4 years old. We try to teach him to clean up but... well you know how that goes. (like food in the couch form wayyyy to long ago) But I know it can be accomplished. My mother instilled tidiness and morning choirs into me at a fairly young age and I hope to pass that down to him because, I belive that that is the reason I am such a morning person now.

I read a wonderful article about how to ingrain the chores into the kids... I wish I had understood "teach kids to help" in this way when my son was little! Here is the's about including them in a real way, not a token way ,and they will get the intrinsic reward of togetherness and doing chores will be a part of connecting with the adults...

I'll definitely check that out. New perspectives and idea are alwasy welcome. - thanks

Does living out of a backpack. while most of your stuff has been stored at your parent's place for the last two years or so count as being minimalist? That's me, since the Summer of 2016

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