starting easy

May 30, 2008

this past weekend, burlington, vermont (where i live) held its 20th annual marathon.  i think it is timely that the marathon was beginning just as we were beginning our marathon of becoming minimalist.  living as a minimalist is a lifestyle (i don’t argue with that), but the process of decluttering our home and reprogramming our minds is definitely a marathon.  i can picture regret at the end if the journey is a sprint – just going room by room and throwing everything away – that would be foolishness.

i have a good friend who is trying to get out of debt.  he was given some interesting advice by his counselor.  his counselor didn’t tell him to “pay off the highest percentage loans right away,” instead he told him “to pay off the smallest debts first.”  i thought that was a bit odd until my friend told me the rationale.  paying off the smallest debts first results in victory – one less monthly payment.  even though it wasn’t the biggest burden, it is still one less burden – one victory.  and victory breeds more victory.

with that in mind, my wife have begun our marathon.  we specifically chose not to start with the biggest burdens (basement, kitchen, toy room, we decided to start simple and gain some quick victories.  after one weekend, here is what we have done so far: minimalized a bathroom cabinet, minimalized a desk, starting selling items on ebay, began organizing for a garage sale, removed a few hangings on my son’s room that needed to go anyway, cleaned out the refrigerator magnets, and minimalized one-half of the living room (yeah, one-half).  even though the victories are small, every time i open the bathroom cabinet or look at the fridge, i am reminded that this is something that we really want to do.

victory breeds victory.  but right now, i’m going to watch the laker’s game.

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