I’m not a minimalist and I don’t play one on television. In fact, I used to be quite the opposite of a minimalist. Is there such a word as “maximist”? Over the years I’d accumulated mountains of “stuff”. Childhood treasures, my first apartment mis-matches, two new homes- of course I had to redecorate with each and every move, right? You bet! And I have to admit I was good at this.
Then a few years ago my sister came to visit from Florida, where she had two homes in addition to the one in Maine. She announced that she and her husband had condensed their Florida homes into a small condo and the house in Maine was under contract. Huh?
“But what will happen to all your pretty, expensive “things”?” I asked her.
She shrugged. “We’ve given all of our non-essential “things” away.”
I was in shock. What would possess a person to do such a thing? After all, those “things” cost money. A lot of money! And my sister was giving it all away?
She went on to explain they’d purchased an RV and was looking forward to purging the remainder of their non-essentials as soon as possible. After much discussion, she finally explained it to me by drawing an analogy to my tea.
Tea is personal.
Obvious from the wide selection of tea pots available on the market today: tea for one, tea for two, tea for many. Strainers, steepers, sweeteners. Varieties of loose leaf teas: black, green, white, oolong, pu’erh, herbals, tisanes, rooibos, decaf.
Her explanation made sense. Just grab your favorite loose leaf tea, steep, enjoy.
There’s a certain tranquility that cannot be breached when one sits down for tea. And tea, green tea in particular, practically demands focus and mental clarity. Ever notice how people resort to tea when they really need to sit quietly and think? The same task is nearly impossible to do with coffee- although I’ll be the first to admit there’s nothing like a strong cup of coffee first thing in the morning. But then tea the remainder of the day.
Everything involving tea is streamlined. Simple. Uncluttered.
Monks have been meditating with tea for centuries, after all. And they don’t have a lot of “stuff”, do they?
And instead of buying a wide selection of loose leaf teas, try choosing just the ones that you feel are “perfect” for you. Store in an attractive, functioning container that neatly stows away inside a cool dark cupboard. (Your teas should live where you do. Never hot or humid).
For the most part I’ve taken my sister’s advice to downsize. I have noticed that my “me” time is more enjoyable. More quality conversations. Less distractions. My limited time is productive. I’m making memories instead of worrying about organizing my clutter. I’m enjoying my tea more. Aroma, flavor, overall wellness.
My sister offers these 5 somewhat unique tips for others who are considering taking the minimalist plunge:
- Start in your closet. Do you notice you wear the same batch of clothes more often than the rest? Take everything out of your closet and sort by COLOR. This should make it easier to purge clothing that is similar. If you can’t donate it right away, place it in a box with the written date. Make a note in your calender to open the box and purge on an exact date in the near future.
- Tupperware drawer (or cupboard) or whatever houses your mountains of plastic ware. Pair up all the mismatched containers and toss the cracked or containers or lids without a mate. Sorry, this is hard core purging. Personally I hate plastic now.
- Walk around your house and collect anything that collects dust. Do you really need these things? I’m referring to silk flowers, knick-knacks, spare anything…
- Samplers- You know, the small travel size or samples of mostly beauty products that we are given at various department stores. Either combine the like products (shampoos, body lotions, you get the idea) or toss it out. If it’s been a while it may have expired or separated inside the container anyway.
- Refrigerator- Unlikely place to purge, but trust me. There are duplicate condiments, expired products lurking in there someplace. Find them and address the issues.
My sister has agreed to guest post for me from time to time. Please leave comments below if you have any unique ideas for purging. We’d love to share them with others.
Meanwhile, visit us at Teatrition Tea And Wellness and discover teas that promote mental clarity and overall wellness while celebrating- simplicity.