I hope you are all staying safe & healthy. Last year I wrote a blog post about wanting to simplify my life for the new year. I didn’t recognize it then but what I was interested in was already a concept called minimalism.
I always thought that to be a minimalist, you could only own like maybe 10 items total. It wasn’t until I started doing research when I realized that minimalism isn’t about owning 10 items or less, it’s about living with what you need and not getting distracted by what you desire.
Minimalism is about getting rid of the unnecessary items in your life to allow yourself to focus entirely on the things most important to you.
Things take up space physically and mentally. It takes up room in your living space and in your mind. You think about the item, the location of it, the possibility of it getting damaged, losing the item, what you’re going to do with it when the newest version of the item comes out, etc. Even if you’re not consciously thinking about the item, it still takes up mental space.
Clutter drives me crazy and makes me anxious. This is the conclusion that I just recently came to last year when my closet was completely overflowing, everything was unorganized, and I had clothes all over my floor. I would come home from a long day of work, see the mess, and as a result, felt endless anxiety. Not fun.
Why do I need 50 shirts, 7 jackets, 6 pairs of the same lululemon leggings, 20 pairs of shoes, etc.? Hellooooo, newsflash Cindy, you don’t.
Everyone has their own justifications for wanting to keep their possessions. For me, my issues were: “well, maybe I’ll need it one day” or “I spent money on this, it would be a waste to toss it out”. What helped me get past these thoughts were listening to minimalist podcasts and reading the book “Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism” by Fumio Sasaki.
I like to hold onto items because I think that maybe I’ll re-read these books one day or maybe I’ll wear this purple fur coat again at a costume party, but this is never the case. If there does come a time when I do end up needing that item (this won’t happen because a purple fur coat is not a necessity to me and neither are physical copies of books), the solution is simple: I’ll just go out and buy it. The extra physical/mental space it takes up and the uneasiness that comes with it just isn’t worth what little money I think I would be saving.
As for the items I spent money on, it isn’t considered a waste to toss the item out because I already wasted the money when I chose to buy it.
Of course, there’s still so much I have to learn from this lifestyle and I’m still new on this pursuit of a minimalist life, but I’m so excited for what’s to come. By simplifying my life, I am able to remove the distractions and divert all of my undivided attention to the things most meaningful to me. :)