What has minimalism taught me about growing up?

As we are all spending more time at home, I have been spending that time reflecting on the things I own and what brings value to my life. In particular, I have been reading books, sorting through trinkets and watching DVD’s that I already own, some of which I have owned since I was a kid. I feel like this process of decluttering has really taught me a lot about growing up.

I have learned that as you grow, you won’t always like the same things – and that is okay. As I read through the collection of books that I loved when I was about 15, it really has been a mixed bag. Some I still love and have stood the test of time, and others I question why I ever liked them at all. Did I waste my time purchasing these items, or liking them so much? No. At that age, I truly did love them, and they gave me what I wanted or needed at the time.

However, sometimes you should just hold on to the memory, rather than the item. While I hadn’t wasted my time purchasing and loving the items when they had provided me value, I still had wasted time, space, and resources, holding on to them when I no longer had use for them. Sometimes, holding on to the feeling that the item gave me is enough, and letting go of things can make room for more valuable things in your life.

I’ve also learned to be careful about holding on to things for others. I will admit, there are a few trinkets I am holding on to in the hopes that my future children will one day want them. But I do so with extreme caution. As I got older, I realised that some things my family gave me, I continue to treasure, but other things, I really didn’t want. I don’t want to put pressure on anyone to treasure my old items. If my children decide that they don’t want the items I cherished or the books I loved, that is completely okay with me, and I will pass them on to someone who will get value from them.

When I was younger, I really had trouble letting things go. I felt like if I let things go, particularly things that I had previously loved, it would be like admitting that I shouldn’t have liked them in the first place. But my perception has definitely changed, and my home is less cluttered for it. I now treasure the things that I have held onto, and I use them or get value from them more often than ever.

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