Hello strangers! My name is Breanna Nichols. I am 21 years old and determined to discover the most fulfilled version of myself. In February 2015, I came across the idea of minimalism. Here is my story, leading me to that exact moment…
While living in Texas for 6 months, I had accumulated piles upon piles of shoes, 2 extra suitcases worth of clothes (suitcases that I didn’t have), and other things that basically resembled a terrible experience. There were a few unfortunate circumstances that made my time there stressful and confusing, caused by toxic relationships with people I thought I could trust…
But anyway, back to my story….
Because of these circumstances, in December 2014, I decided to move back home with my family on the east coast. I didn’t grow up in the biggest house. I had been sleeping on the couch since I was 7…which was kind of my reason for moving out so soon in the first place. I wanted to be on my own and have my own thinking space, but at that point, anything was better than staying in the situation I was in.
If I wanted to come home, I would have to downsize a large portion of my things. It was difficult at first, but after the first 10 things, it became significantly easier. I threw away dresses I “loved” but would never actually wear, heels that I “adored” but knew for a fact that they would leave my closet, and “sentimental” items that I thought were special, but realized every time I would look at them, they were a reminder of a not so fun experience in my life. I was throwing out everything!
>>Fast forward to February 2015>>
I thought I had downsized enough in Texas. But I still had so much stuff, it was cluttering our house more than it already was and for the things that couldn’t fit, we rented a storage unit. I didn’t know what else I could throw away. Everything else either meant something to me or I thought I might be able to use it in the future. I had grown attachments to all of my things and didn’t want to let go. I sought out help from Google and YouTube. I searched phrases like “how to de-clutter my home” & “how to organize my stuff”, hoping that compartmentalizing everything would make it all fit.
One search led to another and I came across videos and articles about not only de-cluttering my stuff, but de-cluttering my LIFE! Every video I watched on this topic was inspiring. The people telling their stories all seemed so free and content with having less. I wanted to take on this idea….so I did. I didn’t want to let inanimate objects control me, I wanted to be in control.
So here I am about 3.5 months down the road. with only 1 suitcase of clothes(from 3), 15 pairs of shoes(from 35), and less friends than I started with.
But I’m not finished yet. It’s not a one time thing. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle that has to be maintained, an attitude toward life, a way to prioritize what’s truly important to me.
There is no one definition of minimalism, there are many. But I leave you with my favorite:
“Re-assessing your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff (i.e: the possessions, ideas, relationships, & activities that don’t bring value to your life)”