Minimalism is a repeated, daily choice to be intentional about what you allow into your life.
After work a few days ago, I decided to watch a documentary on Netflix. It was about these 2 dudes called the Minimalists and how minimalism had changed their approach to life. Here’s what I discovered:
The world doesn’t tell us what is enough.
The documentary went through the lives of these guys and their corporate jobs – how they were supposed to forever reach towards a higher paycheck and an increase in status. When we go shopping, it’s not like there are signs that say “Just buy what you need.” In fact, we’re always encouraged to buy more and more. We want bigger houses, bigger spaces, bigger vacations, and a bigger salary. But in the world we live in, we never are asked “What is enough?” So, when will be truly be satisfied.
Our desire for more is harming the planet.
Because clothes are so much cheaper than they were a few decades ago, it seems as if we’ve developed a habit of shopping more. How many times have you felt like you nothing to wear? Companies make so many clothes that instead of donating them to the thrift store, old season’s clothes are ripped up and thrown out. We have so much waste, and much of our environmental impact is from clothes.
Anything that isn’t serving you isn’t something you need.
Around my house, there are plenty of items I have just to have. Tons of books that could be read by another book lover, clothes that aren’t being worn, even technology that could be repurposed. If you don’t love it or don’t use it, get rid of it.
Less stuff = less worry
When I don’t have an item, I’m not worried about it. But if I buy a new rug, I have to think about cleaning it. If I get a new backpack, I have to think about where I’m putting the old one. This rule works for closets as well. When my closet is stuffed to the brim, I have no idea what I have. I reach for the same blue top and black jeans. But if I took the time to choose the items I really love, get rid of the rest, then I’d be able to put together a new outfit every day.
Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of stuff.
While Marie Kondo and decluttering has become trendy, the core of minimalism isn’t about getting rid of stuff. When you decide to hone in on what you truly love and find essential, you can eliminate the distractions in your life. You start to act in line with the values you have. Not the ones that are dictated to you.
The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.
Minimalism is about defining what is enough and being satisfied.
If we’re truly honest about what makes us happy, we would stop thinking that having a million dollars and going on vacation for the rest of our lives is what makes us happy. In reality, we would be satisfied with having the people we love around us and doing work that makes us fulfilled. When you define the parameters on what is enough, you can start living towards those parameters. You won’t be living in service of a definition that doesn’t resonate with you.
There are two ways to have enough: One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.
G. K. Chesterton
Minimalism goes beyond physical items.
If you decide to be intentional about your belonging, than you should be intentional about the people, the work, and the activities you invite into your life. What people bring you joy? Who do you feel the most energized after spending time with them? Who is draining your energy? Who is negative towards you? Who brings us bad memories? What work do you love? What work do you hate? Are you outdoorsy? Do you like a quiet night in?
Be specific and mindful of everything you let into your life.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
There’s this idea – that if it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a hell no. When it comes to things you are investing your time and money in, you should properly vet them. We often choose to say yes because that thing sounds nice or we have time for it. But truthfully, living this way often ignores our values and our priorities.
Every single yes to something is a no to something else. So be wise about your yeses! Say yes to what fulfills you, brings you joy, and what you have time for,
Love people. Use things. Because the opposite never works.
Said by The Minimalists. In the hustle and bustle of working and commuting, we forget that most important things aren’t really things at all. It’s not the money in our lives, but the people in our hearts that make waking up every day worth it. Do yourself a favor. Put things in their proper place, and go tell someone you love that you love them
Are you a minimalist? In what ways have you decluttered recently?