My Journey To Minimalism

My Journey To Minimalism

Disclaimer: I’m still completely new to minimalism, but I’m determined to pursue this new way of living! I’m no expert, I just want to share my experiences and ideas about minimalism.

What is minimalism? 

For those of you who don’t know what minimalism is, here is an excerpt from theminimalists.com, which in my opinion, explains the concept (or maybe I should say lifestyle) very well:

”Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.”

So minimalism doesn’t mean you have to get rid of ALL your stuff. You simply get rid of the things you don’t need; the things you have, but don’t make you happy. The idea is that once you start living with fewer things, you’ll start to see the world around you in a different light. You’ll start to be more grateful, relaxed, and maybe even find out some things about your values and morals on the way.

The why

I think it is important to have a reason to start the minimalism journey. If you have clear goals and ideas about what you think (or hope) this new lifestyle can bring you, you are far more likely to experience the immense benefits and improvements in your life.

The past few years haven’t exactly been easy for me. I’ve struggled with an eating disorder, OCD, and depression. These things caused me to feel unhappy and uncomfortable in my skin. I had the hope that once I was recovered, I could pick up my life and be ‘happy’. But when that time came, I didn’t feel happy at all.

This was about two years ago. A few months later, I decided I wanted some changes in my life. I wasn’t going to wait for someone else to do it. I started adopting new habits like running and getting up at 6AM every single day. These habits have given me a lot of joy, and I can say with confidence that I feel more satisfied with my life than I did ever before. But here’s the thing. The word ‘happy’ isn’t rolling over my tongue yet when someone asks me how I feel. ‘Fine’ or ‘okay’ are words I’d rather use.

I started doing some research about happiness, and one term that appeared over and over again was minimalism. I didn’t even know what it was. I let it flow by a few times before looking it up. And when I did, I was hooked. The funny thing is that minimalism made me remember something about myself from when I was a little kid. I used to have a lot of toys, like a lot of children nowadays. But I’d always start playing with just one or two and ask myself: If I only had this toy, would that be enough? Would having the second or third toy make me happier?’ I thought about poor children and how they were sometimes happy, even if they had little to no toys. By reading about the minimalism lifestyle, I found out that I had thought about it before in different ways and occasions, but I just didn’t know it!

I found out that I’ve always tried to find happiness from an extern source; buying a new tv, a new iPad, getting some new books or movies, etc. I thought these things made me happier, but now I know that they didn’t do the job. Not at all. They only made me more miserable. Buying something new made me want to buy more. A better TV. A newer Ipad. A bigger collection of movies. This ‘hunt’ for things can consume a lot of time and energy. Valuable time and energy that can also be used for actually improving your life.

The how

Once I did my research about minimalism and had seen in how many ways it had enriched other people’s lives, I immediately wanted to get started. I’m not someone who throws out all of my stuff in one day, although I did make some impulsive decisions. For instance, I got rid of my TV and my iPad the same day, and haven’t looked back since. I went into my bedroom and went through all the clutter. I filled a whole trash can and again, didn’t look back. There were also things I was more hestitant about, though (my book collection, my movie collection, personal gifs, etc.).

I think that the key to these things are to start asking yourself some questions: Do I really need this? If not, does it bring me genuine happiness? If not, throw it away. I started selling my least favorite movies, the onces I knew I wouldn’t really want to watch again. I did the same with my books. I went through the rest of the house and started throwing away (or donating) things I didn’t need anymore, and after I did, I felt as though there was so much weight lifted of my shoulders, weight I didn’t even know that stuff was carrying, but apparently, it did.

Disclaimer: If you really love your book collection, for example, and can’t imagine getting rid of it, keep it! You don’t have to get rid of things that are truly bringing you happiness and joy!

After I finished going through the rest of my clutter, I want to get on to the technological part of minimalism, which means that I probably will reduce the amount of social media I’m using, get rid of some more digital devices, etc.

Like I said before, I’m still completely new to minimalism. But I’m determined. I will make this change in my life. I will share some of my stories and findings with you on this blog, and I hope you do the same!