When I started looking into minimalism about 7 years ago, I thought it was about owning 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes and getting rid of all the clothes that you haven’t worn in the past 12 months. I studied capsule wardrobes and looked into mine with confusion on how I could make mine work.
I’ve consumed podcasts, KonMari-ed my way through my wardrobe (not very well because everything seems to spark joy) and read books.
But I’ve gotten to the point where I finally understand.
As the years went on, it went from wanting to be a minimalist to now wanting to live that lifestyle. Not just simply to walk into a very neat and tidy home, but to think about consumption as a whole and not just limited to clothes. And then it took me down the path of what makes me happy in life?
- Minimalism doesn’t mean owning less of everything
I use to think that it was about quantitating items. Much like capsule wardrobes, there was a magic formula and guide about how much you should have. 5 shirts, 2 pair of jeans and 3 pairs of shoes. It quickly became clear that this is not the case.
With anything in life, it needs to work for your life.
If you’re out on your feet at work everyday, maybe you need more comfy every day shoes compared to someone who isn’t. Maybe owning many colourful socks makes you really happy. Maybe having a wardrobe of only black and white doesn’t speak to you.
Minimalism can be applied to people (lols), time, ideas, food etc. It’s about peeling away all the excess that doesn’t make your life better and maybe even makes your life worse.
Minimalism can be tailored for all of our different circumstances and should be.
- Minimalism will last if there is a change in value
Perhaps you just wanted a more functional wardrobe or more time but there is a value change behind this.
Why do you want a more functional wardrobe or more time?
By asking yourself ‘why’, you’ll be able to get down to the real motivation and reason behind why you want to do something. This will show you how important you want this change to occur in your life because now, you have a few reasons on why making this change in your life might be beneficial.
To make these changes, you need new habits and habits are more likely to stick and be easier to keep if there is a value change behind your decision making. This is why you need to identify the “why/s”.
It could be as simple as wanting to be a better consumer. Whatever your reason for making a change in your life, back it up with reasons why you want to make a change.
3. Minimalism is a tool to free up your life
Less things means less time cleaning, worrying, obsessing, maintaining and having to declutter. It’s setting the boundaries that you want to or didn’t know you needed it to. It can also mean having more fresh space, air, good vibes, calm vibes and/or both good and calm vibes.
It means that you will have more time to do other things that are more meaningful (or not) but having less means having more of your life back.
4. Minimalism can change your relationship with life
This point relates to the previous point. Once you have got rid of the excess of your life, it’s time to re-evaulate.
It’s time to fill it with activities that you love but didn’t have time for.
It’s time to spend more time with those that you care about.
It’s time to go back to basics and daydream, exercise and look after yourself.
5. Things last for a long time (really long time)
How long did you take to wear out a t-shirt or jeans? When was the last time you unsubscribed from all the marketing emails? Out of all the people on your phone, how many do you regular contact?
When left untouched and un-noticed, things just sit there. For years. Collecting dust, using up valuable space or creating clutter in real life and mentally. Minimalism allowed me to become more active in my life and begin to notice how long things actually last for. This feeds a loop of not wanting more of anything because I like what I have and appreciate what I have. I want to take more care in bringing in new items otherwise they just add to the stuff that will sit there for years.
Have you embraced or thought about minimalism? Is it a lifestyle that is attractive to you?