benefit #7 – minimalism begets minimalism

June 19, 2008

over the past three weeks since we began this journey, i have noticed a change in my lifestyle.  karen kingston helped me understand it.

in her book, clear your clutter with feng shui, karen writes this about clutter – “you know what it is like.  you are walking down the street and you see that someone has thoughtlessly thrown an empty cigarette packet in the corner near the roadside.  the next day you walk past the same spot, and the empty pack has been joined by a few more items of trash.  before long it becomes a full-blown garbage dump.  clutter accumulates the same way in your house.  it starts with a bit and then it slowly, insidously, grows and grows.”

clutter attracts clutter.  it just takes one piece of junk mail, one article of clothing left on a chair, or one receipt not filed properly to get the clutter momentum started.

what i have found over the last three weeks is that the opposite is also true.  when a surface is left clean, that one piece of clutter seems out of place and calls you to put it away.  since i minimalized my office and removed all the clutter, i can’t stand the idea of leaving one piece of paper sitting on my desk – and so i put it away.  since i minimalized my wardrobe, i can’t stand the idea of leaving one shirt laying on the floor – and so i throw it down to the laundry.   since we minimalized the living room, i can’t stand the idea of leaving my shoes in the corner or a book on the table – and so i put them where they go right away.

perhaps, i should have learned to just put things away years ago when i turned 20, 25, or 30.  but for me another benefit of minimalism is that it leads to even more minimalism.  and that’s a good change in my lifestyle – just ask my wife.

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