The Closet Countdown: T-5 Days


 “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

The Closet Countdown almost ended for me yesterday. I hit some sort of wall. Not fear this time. Just fed up with thinking about it. Ready to just get on with it…but not really. Thinking about my things for too long just makes me sick to my stomach and I don’t want to deal with the tedium. As I stood and stared at my ten tops and now six pairs of shoes, it hit me…this might be why minimalism is not the most popular lifestyle choice.

It’s a pain. A real, brain-taxing pain sometimes. Going through stuff and making decisions about dresses and socks can be mentally exhausting and well…I’m lazy. This culling process feels like work. Feels like I should be doing something better with my time. Certainly something more “noble” or “impressive”. I almost quit.

I sat on the floor and let my mind wander as I considered really quitting. Pathetic. I know. I’m reconciled to the fact that I have these moments. Most of the time, they push me to give the finger to that discouraging voice inside my head, grab the reigns of my conflict, and ride it into the future. I have to know how this part of my story goes. If I quit now, I won’t get to know all the great things I could learn.

Yes, I’m lazy. But I’m also hopelessly curious and stubborn so that works out…most of the time. 🙂

The good news is that I’m not quitting and in preparation for the closet countdown, I went through a box of current clothing and easily got rid of half of it using my favorite Hell Yeah! method. That felt good. I still love that feeling that it does get easier (read more about how it gets easier here). It gets easier to let go. I guess that’s why I keep at this “silly” project. I’ve had a tiny taste of the mental and emotional freedom that comes from dealing with my stuff and I want more. I hope to find it as I continue to experiment with minimalism.

Thank you for wading through my rants and struggles (and triumphs!) related to minimalism. I appreciate your company on my simplicity quest. Cheers!


  1. Just what I needed to read today as I an struggling with inertia on clearing things out, thank you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rose! I’m so glad that I could help. It warms my heart to help in any way I can. Love your posts on quitting Facebook, by the way!

  2. Stubbornness and curiosity can definitely be great motivators. Kudos for pushing through and sticking to the “silly” minimal mission!

  3. Good for you Ginny for sharing your experience of wanting to throw in the towel. And then not throwing in the towel! Sometimes when I get rid of things; I let them sit in the boot of my car for a while before I take them to goodwill. If I have actually missed the item – I am allowed to ‘save’ it, before it goes to a new home. It happens less often for sure, it gets easier…

  4. Thanks so much! Sometimes, I feel pretty vulnerable when I write about my struggles. But I’ve found fellow minimalists (like yourself) to be most encouraging. I do something similar with my things to donate: I put them in a box by my door for awhile until I’m “ready” to take them. 🙂

    Thanks again for the kind words of encouragement!

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