First off, this post is dedicated to a close friend of mine, Chelsea. Chelsea, thank you for encouraging me to start this blog and thank you for coming up with the name “The Minimalist of Galveston Island.” Your opinion means a lot to me and I’m glad you’re in my life.
Hello again! If you’re reading this right now I want to say thank you! It means a lot that you’re taking time out of your day to read what I have to say about minimalism and my life. Let me introduce myself; my name is Jeff English and I’m a soon to be 30yr old human living in Galveston, TX. I was born and raised in Van Buren, AR and grew up with one older brother (14 yr age difference! Crazy, right?). And I’m also very fortunate to be an Uncle to two amazing girls that brighten my life. I have two cats, Jax & Opie and they bring so much joy to my life. As I’m typing, Jax is at the end of my chair sleeping and keeping my leg warm. Have you ever just sat with a sleeping cat? It’s very relaxing and you should try it sometime!
As I stated in my first post, I’ve never had an issue with throwing out, donating, or selling my earthly possessions, but I think I really started a form of minimalism in college. My roommate/best friend and I would buy movies and we’d end up selling old movies so we could buy the new movies. Doing this allowed me to get rid of old stuff so I could buy new stuff; so technically it wasn’t really minimalism, but it evolved over time into what I now call minimalism (if that makes sense).
When I got my first apartment in grad school I felt like I needed to fill that space with decorations, items, cookware, more clothes, and small little gadgets I could put around the apartment. I felt like an adult, but doesn’t everybody feel that way when they get their first place? This was MY space and I needed it to look and feel like Jeff English. I’ve been a movie fanatic since childhood and I thought I should decorate my walls with framed movie posters, art from Hobby Lobby expressing my love of film and even having some old action figures from my childhood on display. I’ve had five apartments since 2010 and each one was similar to the last; except for the change of posters every few months. For the longest time, I hated empty space on a wall, because I didn’t want my place to be boring and I didn’t want it to resemble a prison cell (figure of speech, since I’ve never been to jail or prison). So I’d always be on the look out for film décor and nice objects that could really make my place POP!
When I moved to Galveston in 2014 my tastes changed and I started finding art and framed work from my local goodwill. It was cheap, most of it looked good, and again, it was cheap. My walls looked great and I felt like my home had a personality to match my own. But after the death of my father all of that just seemed to not matter. I slowly stopped collecting FUNKO action figures; I stopped buying random stuff at Goodwill so much, and I just started thinking more and taking better care of my mental state. When I decided to move back to AR and help mom, I needed to get a storage unit to store all my stuff. But before that, I had to pack everything up. During this time, I threw out A LOT of random junk that I didn’t need or hadn’t used. I won’t lie; it felt amazing to just throw out stuff and not have to worry about packing it up with everything else. But I still had enough stuff to almost fill a 5×10 storage space! But in a funny way, it all goes back to living with my best friend. I’m 100% positive that’s when I started realizing that I could easily let go of my possessions and not feel any remorse. And if you read my first post you already know that Minimalism will soon change my life for the better in the upcoming months.
This leads me to the present-day. I have a small condo and there is nothing occupying my wall space. I have books on my shelves that act as decorations, but I no longer feel the need to have posters or framed art on my walls. If I find a piece of art that awakens my soul and could bring true value to my life I’ll invest, but right now I’m in love with knowing my home feels like home without all the excess stuff. I donated a majority of my old and new toys/action figure collection (Future Topic), LARGE portion of my movie collection, and even a majority of my book collection. I know, how on Earth could I get rid of my books? Well, even books can be overwhelming if you have too many and don’t even read them. I’ve kept what brings value to my life and eventually I’ll re-evaluate those items, but for now, I’m content. I find value in knowing I come home to two cats that love me and I also find value in knowing that my stuff no longer owns me and I don’t have to submit to how people think a home should look. As long as I’m happy with my home that’s what really counts.
If this post could bring value to someone’s life please help share my story with others. I’m not just doing this for me, but anyone that feels like they’re trapped in a box.
– Minimalist of Galveston Island