I was reading one of my favourite blogs on frugality, when the word “minimalism” caught my eye. Intrigued, I google searched the term and within several minutes was hooked reading an abundance of short essays on a blog called “theminimalists”. Within a couple hours I was well informed on this lifestyle/philosophy, of living with ‘less’ material possessions.
The idea is simple. You only hold on to items that add the most value to your life, and ditch the rest. Focusing on the journey of life, rather than the journey of making money to fund an abundance of shiny things. The core of minimalism is about creating a life focused on contributing to the world, following your passion and living intentionally, without all of your possessions getting in the way of your higher ideals. In summary, less stress, less clutter, more money, more gratitude, more time.
Immediately I began assessing all of my ‘stuff’, with the intention to donate, sell or throw away all of the items that were not providing true value to my life. As I went through each section of my room, I evaluated each item based on the following criteria:
– Do I use this item on a weekly to monthly basis?
– Does this item hold any immediate practical value to me?
– Is this item representing a past time that is no longer relevant?
– Am I holding this item purely for sentimental value?
As I answered these questions for all the items in my room, it became immediately clear how much ‘stuff’ I had lying around that was not adding any value what so ever to my life. I am by no means a hoarder, but I had never been so aware of all the clutter around me. Here is a small list of the things I was able to offload:
– about 70% of my clothing (including hats and shoes)
– 1 of my bedside tables (as I condensed 2 into 1)
– 1 desk (I now just have the 1)
– my original xbox and xbox 360 + games (I don’t play them anymore)
– a small shelving unit (it used to hold all my shoes)
– a couple old phones I had lying around
– a canvas on my wall (represents a past time)
– about 12 old boardgames collecting dust in my wardrobe
– an entire cd collection (about 80-100)
– my poker table
– a lot of paperwork and random old school projects
There was some more stuff too, but i’m sure you get the point. I must say that with every item I released, it was like a weight off my shoulder. I now feel light and free. Not only do I feel like I have created more literal space in my room, but I have created more space for the things that really matter to me like writing, reading, exercising, learning and spending time with my partner.
I have since re-visited each section of my room on a couple occasions, each time offloading an extra item or two. Its funny how when you consistently review your things with fresh eyes, you realise you still kept items you don’t need. I plan to review all of my possessions on a fortnightly basis, to ensure that I am not accumulating any un-necessary items.
The minimalist journey has only just begun for me, and there are some things in the pipeline that I would like to challenge myself to get rid of. However at the moment, I am feeling free and am focusing more on living, rather than accumulating.
How did you get started on a minimalist journey?