Minimalist vs. Excessivist: No Happy Medium?

Can you find peace living in excess? Can you find comfort in living with the minimal? Is there a way to find happiness in minimalism AND excessivness? Minimalist www.abitofsimplicity.com

Minimalism.

It’s all over the internet. The new it thing to do.

Pinterest is bombarding you with quotes and lists of things to purge.

Facebook is filling up with newsfeeds about how great everyone is feeling getting rid of stuff.

Meanwhile, I am sitting in my house scooping up all my clutter all around me -my five random buttons that I have no clue what they go to but may be good for something one day, my clothes that I haven’t fit in for the last 2 years but I might one day, my kids’ pre-k artwork that I’m not entirely sure what it is a picture of but they may want to see it one day- and feeling comforted.

ahhh, the comfort of random necessities… or, at least, I think they are necessities… okay, I am just pretending they are necessities.

See, everyone is talking about the wonders of becoming a minimalist but no one even addresses the bigger elephant in the room, the people who are known as:

Excessivist.

Okay, okay, I completely made that word up; but, it’s true.

I don’t like the term hoarder, because I am not a hoarder.

My house is clean and not lined with narrow paths in between piles of boxes, clothes, and trash. I don’t have a garage over-flowing with doll heads. Or, an attic caving the ceiling in with old newspapers.

I have a house that has stuff. Maybe unnecessary stuff, but it’s stuff that I might need/want one day.

Don’t get me wrong.

I like the idea of minimalism.

The thought of only having what you need does come with a sense of clarity and peace.

I see white walls, a room void of objects, and fluffy blankets.

Okay, why does that now sound like a room inside an insane asylum…?

There have been numerous studies that show when we remove clutter from our lives, our stress levels drastically decrease. I totally see that.

Whenever I get out of my Rosie the Robot mode the house goes into self-destruct. Trash somehow starts piling up, dishes begin to create their own little village in the sink, and clothes start growing their own appendages. And, I feel my mind begins to shrink with overwhelming clutter. New things to do, more spots to clean…

The clutter sneaks from my house and enters my brain.

So, I get it.

The study makes 100% sense.

But, I can’t do it.  I can’t get rid of these things.

You see, I come from a long line of: “But, what-if we’ll need this one day?!”

It would just kill us to have to buy something we once had but threw away thinking we didn’t need it.

We spend most of our time coming up with justifiable reasons why we have 5 of the same things (especially when 4 of them are broken).

And then you have my husband… he’s been a minimalist since before it was cool.

He would literally live with 5 pairs of each clothing items needed, just the exact right amount of dishes, and he’d even count out the toilet paper rolls to make sure he didn’t have too much.

He’s also an instant giver.

Haven’t used an item in a week? Give it away.

Haven’t worn a piece of clothing all month? Give it away.

Haven’t talked to a friend in over 2 months? Give them away.

Seriously, he’s all about clean, thorough, and necessity only.

Now that I think about it, he may be the founder of minimalism…

So, as you can guess, life in our house is pretty torn.

He’s sneaking items out the back door to put in the truck to give away and I’m sneaking out the front to get them back.

This last snow day got me thinking, because it stirred up controversy over changing and cleaning out a couple rooms because they weren’t being “used” as much, is there such a thing as a happy medium?

Can you find the peace of minimalism with the comfort of excess?

I think so.

Honestly, we’ve come pretty close to a happy medium because I think, if not, one of us would have been on the curb a long time ago.

And, I say pretty close because we arn’t exactly there yet.

I don’t have that peace and clutter free feeling that minimalism is supposed to give you.

I want to, but I also don’t want to have to trash everything…

There has to be ways around this…

To find a good mediumist (yes, I just created another word) spot, I think you have to make small steps.

  • Don’t throw away everything. Throw away trash, throw away junk – but for all those other “things”, find a spot for them. A tote in your closet, a box in the attic. Find a spot for them that you can get to, but that gets them out of the way.
  • Don’t take stuff that you don’t need. If your mother-in-law is giving you a stack of magazines that she thought you’d like-and you might, if you ever had the chance to read them- don’t take it!
  • Find a good home for your loved items. Are you still holding onto those jeans that looked GREAT on you a few years ago? Don’t give up hope that you’ll never fit into them again; but, in the mean time, find a new home & someone else who can cherish them like you did. And, when the time comes that you could fit in them again, treat yourself to a brand new pair!
  • Create new uses for old items. Can’t stand the idea of throwing away all of those old mason jars your grandma had? PINTEREST new ideas! Lawd, child, Pinterest everything!

These are only a few ideas, and things I have to work on too, but there has to be a way to find this happy medium I think we are all searching for.

Do you have any ideas on what else we could do to find peace in mediumism?

I really hope that isn’t the term for calling on the dead… 

 

This entry was posted in Life.

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