I have a challenge for my move into tiny dwelling:
I’m a hoarder…
Boy, that was hard to admit, but true.
I have a difficult past that includes: estranged/reunited family members, abuse, neglect, exposure to death repeatedly and at an early age, multiple moves in my young life.
Due to all of these, my biggest dream growing up wasn’t to get married or be a mom, it was to have my own home. A place that was mine, a haven, the place my heart was most comfortable.
Also, due to all of this, I found solace in my stuff. It connected me to important people in my life. It reminded me of people I had lost. It was the “proof” of someone’s love for me, so my holding on to it was the “proof” I loved them back.
I have actually gotten over much of this, finding it easy to let go of many things – but some of that stuff that made a big imprint early on, I still find it nearly impossible to let go of. It physically hurts even to just think of losing it, losing the connection it brings to someone else (because that is usually what is keeping it in my life).
This is a misconception people often have of hoarders: they can just let go.
But there is a real, psychological connection to the items you are asking them to part with.
So, why go tiny if I live comfortably with all my stuff now?
- Well, the catch-22 for me is that too much stuff, the clutter (which I perpetually accepted as a kid), causes me anxiety. I have had nights where I have literally gotten out of bed to clean because the clutter was making my insomnia that much worse.
- There is a bigger picture here. A dream God has placed in my heart, for His glory, not always for my own comfort or pleasure. This means sacrifice on my part.
- I can follow a simple guide for de-cluttering that will still allow me to hold on to some of those really important/sentimental items: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.
I know I absolutely cannot keep everything if I really am going to go tiny & begin a mobile life, or relocate to another part of the country.
I cannot keep allowing my time & energy to be consumed by my stuff when God has so much greater for me.
So, am I a hoarder? Yes. Recovering.
Am I a true minimalist? Probably not.
But, I am working on living a simpler life dedicated to the dreams God has placed in me, so that I may make a difference in the world around me, while also leaving a smaller, less damaging ecological footprint.
There’s a bigger picture here: freedom.