Even in July I was ready to get rid of stuff in my cellar.

It’s been two months since I started The RID Project. I wanted to share some thoughts about the overall project, and share some goals with it.

Why am I doing this, getting rid of stuff? I want to be a better steward of my resources, stuff and time. I want to be a better example to my family with money, possessions and my schedule. I want to bless others. I want to be intentional about not being a consumerist or materialist.

Partaking in The RID Project, pursuing a minimalism lifestyle, is not about taking on a poverty mentality. Some people have thought I’m a hypocrite because I’ve been an advocate for minimalism while still purchasing things. I’ve been talking about getting rid of stuff, and yet here I am buying something. Minimalism and The RID Project aren’t about poverty. Rather, they are about being more effective with resources, stuff and time. It’s being more intentional and thoughtful with purchases. It’s freeing me up so I can focus in more on what I want to do and should be doing.

Boxing up some stuff to take to Half-Price Books to sell.

I’ve enjoyed talking with people about why I’ve done The RID Project and pursued a minimalist lifestyle. It’s been cool to hear the stories of others and how they are evaluating their own lives when it comes to resources, stuff and time.

At times, I’ve been surprised by some of the criticisms that have come my way from people. I thought I had shared my intentions well, but some people didn’t like it. The more I thought about the criticisms, I realized it shouldn’t have surprised me. We live in a culture that is very much materialistic. Anything we do that threatens, or challenges, a culture’s “idol” is going to face pushback, especially from those that adhere to the idol’s mindset. For some people that have criticized, I think what I’ve done and shared about has brought conviction about their lifestyle. Instead of dealing with it, they criticize me.

It’s been fun, and a blessing, being able to give friends some of the stuff I have that I don’t use anymore. Why keep something in storage for years if I’m not going to use it? Why keep something in my closet if I’m not going to wear it? Why not give it to someone who will appreciate it more than me? My goal in life should not be acquiring stuff. The thought has crossed my mind that I could be passing on my clutter to someone else, but I hope that isn’t the case. I’m talking to my friends about this project.

I’ve come to appreciate the library more. I use to like the idea of having my own personal library, but that meant buying a lot of books I ended up reading once…if at all! Like a lot of people, I have a stack of books that are waiting to be read. However, I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books, and books that were waiting to be read. Checking books out forces me to prioritize what I want to read. It’s good. I’ve used the library a lot these past few months.

The extra time with my family from cutting out clutter and time wasters? Lovely.

As I drill down in my life I come across stuff I had forgotten about. I shake my head a lot upon these realizations. How can I forget about this stuff? It’s easy when you have a lot and it just sits boxed up in my cellar. This past week, I experienced this a lot when going through more boxes in the cellar. I found items that I hadn’t even opened, but yet at the time I bought them I thought were important to have.

I don’t have it all figured out when it comes to The RID Project, or with minimalism, but I’m getting there. I’m not perfect, but my life is in a much healthier position, as it relates to this, than it was over a year ago. I want to be able to give/serve more as I get rid of stuff and have more financial/time capacity available to help others. I don’t want to be ungrateful, or for my family to be, with how blessed we are and take that for granted. I want my family to take the blessings we have and bless others with them.

My goal with The RID Project is to do a weekly post, for an entire year, documenting something I have gotten rid of. I want it to be in conjunction with the minimalism lifestyle I am pursuing. I want to share what I’m learning and how I’m applying it to my life. Thank you to those of you that have been reading these posts and have provided positive and helpful feedback. I’m grateful for it.

Thanks to Joshua Becker and Dave Weaver for sharing their stories that are an inspiration to me.

To read previous The RID Project posts, click here.

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