Ten things I’ve learned about Minimalism.
I first wrote about minimalism back in 2011 on a little blogspot blog, back in the day. I journeyed through packing, donating, decluttering, inspired by Leo Babauta and The Minimalists. I bought nothing for 2 years, in 2012 and again in 2015, and wrote about how this impacted my life.
Since then I’ve been able to look back on the minimalist journey and been able to mellow a little. Here are ten things I’ve learned about minimalism, nine years down the line.
- Minimalism isn’t just about decluttering physical objects. Although this is a big part of it, prepare to feel changes in lifestyle, outlook, and activities.
- Beware of the ‘just in case items. Holding on to things in case you’ll use them sometimes in the future can lead to extra clutter. This isn’t to say that ‘just in case’ is entirely bad – but if you find yourself holding onto a lot of stuff because of the ‘just in case’ mindset, evaluate the reason why.
- A ‘no-spend’ year will change your life. It’s huge. But great.
- Your minimalism isn’t the same as my minimalism. It can be different for everyone, from a subtle shift in purchasing to a hardcore ‘owning X amount of items’. My minimalism has changed over time.
- Don’t get rid of everything just because you’ve read it on the internet. I donated all my books and never regretted anything as much in my minimalist life. I’ve spent the last few years re-populating my bookshelves. I love books.
- I realised the massive wastefulness of the consumer chain and haven’t bought anything ‘new’ in years now. When I buy clothing (which is rarely!) it’s from eBay or charity shops. These places let me buy clothes that I wouldn’t have been able to afford new, and have already been produced and used.
- Plan what to do after the initial clear-out or declutter. Minimalism can show up some harsh truths and it’s important to be able to deal with it. Worries about past buying behaviour, a removal of items that were a crutch to cover up something else, spare time that used to be filled by shopping… It’s not all fresh air and suddenly meaningful lives.
- Diving into minimalism was the catalyst for me to radically change the way I was living. I’d say it was the kick-start in a chain of events that led to me leaving my rat race job, and, via some major ups and downs, ending up here as a wilder, freer woman, doing something I never thought I was capable of, with lots of spare time. Be prepared for huge, unexpected changes.
- Saying ‘I need this’ can be a softer way of saying ‘I want this’. Look at the reasoning and become aware of the knee-jerk reaction that leads to buying something.
- Minimalism is a way of living a softer lifestyle, with more consideration and less impact. And isn’t that just what the world needs right now?
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