The Art and Beauty of Minimizing Personal Possessions


Whereas many Americans simply can’t get enough shopping and continue to accumulate piles of material possessions, I simply love to scrounge through the things I already have to do just the very opposite – get rid of stuff. It’s incredibly refreshing!

Many people live in overly large homes with spaces brimming with personal belongings. Material items. Basements, attics, spare rooms are loaded with possessions, many of which simply accumulate and serve no real purpose. That’s a lot of wasted space, time, and energy. And for what? What good is all of that stuff doing?

In 2007, I moved to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeastern Missouri. Before I moved, I shed many of the personal possessions I found cluttering my life, relinquishing those things that no longer served me. I pared down to what I thought was important to me. That was the first step in prioritizing what possessions really meant to me, whether or not they were actually important enough to continue to keep.

In 2009, I moved into my own hand-built 200 square foot cob home. I live there with my partner, which means that really, it’s 100 square feet of living space for each of us. Living in a space this small means that there simply isn’t an option of collecting clutter. There is only so much space to devote to personal belongings. A house this small is equivalent to the size of single rooms in many typical American homes. I regularly spend time looking for things that I can get rid of, or pass on to others who may have a use for them.

Decluttering… it’s a Lifestyle

Minimizing your personal possessions is a beautiful paradigm shift, a complete change in lifestyle. It’s something I continue to strive to do. I’m not done yet. Even though I live in a tiny house, I still have a lot of learning to do to minimize my collection of personal belongings and material items. It’s a continuing process of realizing the importance of things.

I ask that readers take the challenge to look deeply at their own lives and their own collections of material possessions and ask: what is really important?

You may be surprised what you find!

Once you’ve minimized, you’ll want to keep what you do have organized. Check out our selection of bookshelves, storage cubes, and desks.

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