Hope you’re all doing well!
I am sure many of you have heard about minimalism and know what it is. To be completely honest I have come across this term many times throughout the past few years however, it was only a few months ago when I really started researching it and afterwards I realized that minimalism can definitely help make our lives a bit better.
Two of the most famous promoters of minimalism are Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of the famous blog The Minimalists . The Minimalists describe minimalism in the following way: “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important-so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom”.
To me personally, minimalism is a way of life in which we can simplify our lives by eliminating the possessions that we no longer need and becoming a more conscious consumer by starting to really ask ourselves do we really need an item before we actually purchase it.
Minimalism may not be for everyone but I think that most people can benefit from minimalism. The reality is that minimalism is simply an idea and it is up to us to incorporate it into our lives in a way that benefits us. Basically there is no one particular type of minimalism. Based on many factors such as our age, our job, our roles within our families, etc. our type of minimalism may look very different from other minimalists.
My main motivation for embracing a minimalist lifestyle was to get rid of the junk that I no longer needed in order to have a more organized room so I can more easily find things when I need them. One fact about me is that I am absolutely horrible at finding things (especially things that I know are hidden among other stuff). Finding the things that I needed had become a source of stress and anxiety for me.
As a newly graduated college student, I had tons of papers that I no longer needed and I carefully recycled them. (As a side note: whenever you are trashing or recycling papers always make sure that you no longer need them, make sure that you don’t accidently trash important documents. Also, if the papers contain sensitive information about you its probably best if you shred these papers).
Once I had finished recycling all of the documents that I no longer needed I started going through my other possessions which for me, mainly consisted of my clothing and accessories. For me, this was definitely harder because there were some items where I couldn’t decide if I should keep them or donate them.
While following the Minimalists on various platforms I realized that for Joshua Fields Millburn, minimalism was a gradual journey and it took him several months to get rid of everything that he no longer needed.
However, Ryan Nicodemus got rid of his possessions within a few days. Nicodemus described how he actually had a packing party where he invited his friends and they helped him pack all of his possessions in boxes and for a period of time he lived mainly by only grabbing the things he needed and after a certain period of time he got rid of the things that he had packed but never used after packing them.
For me personally minimalism is a long term journey in the sense that I have gradually gotten rid of the things that I no longer need but I still have a ways to go. One thing that has really helped me is the ninety-ninety rule. Basically if you have something and you’re not sure if you still need it or not, ask yourself if you have used it in the past ninety days or do you anticipate using it in the next ninety days. Of course, this is just a general rule that doesn’t work in every situation but it can be helpful.
Like I mentioned earlier, minimalism has made me a more conscious and aware consumer. Previously I would go to the dollar stores and purchase anything that seemed cute or seemed like it would come in handy one day. Now, I have really realized the power of creating shopping lists in which I list everything I need beforehand. If I come across something online or at the store that I want, I wait it out for a few days and if I still think that I need it then I will purchase it.
Some people may think that they can only have a set number of possessions in order to be considered a minimalist. However, this is simply not true. Minimalism is about getting rid of the excess but it is not about restricting you. Minimalism is not against material possessions it is simply about making sure that every item that you do have is of some value to you.
This post cannot do justice to this wonderful topic however, there are so many books, articles, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos etc. on minimalism. Click here, here, here, and here to learn more about minimalism.
I hope that this post has inspired you to perhaps gradually declutter your life with the goal of making your life a bit better.