The older I get, the more the idea of minimalism resonates with me. I’ve never been a hoarder, but still, at times, I feel overwhelmed by stuff. And the older I get, the more I feel myself rebelling against needless consumerism. It really gets my hackles up!
When we moved house last year (May), it was a particularly harrowing experience. I really didn’t think I had that much stuff! And while a lot of it I can categorize as necessity, there’s a lot that isn’t.
For me, minimalism is about finding what’s important to you and leaving plenty of space for those things. And that’s the thing – minimalism looks different for everyone.
For one person it may look like selling up everything and travelling the world while living out of a suitcase. For another it may mean downsizing, moving into a converted eco-friendly container. And for someone else it may just mean less stuff and being more mindful of purchases.
On the weekend, I watched a little documentary from The Minimalists. If you haven’t heard of them, they are two American dudes – Ryan and Josh – who have documented their journey to minimalism via blog, books, podcasts and, now a documentary.
Although the documentary is more about the why, than how of minimalism, the thing I got out of it was confirming the fact that minimalism looks different for everyone.
Why does it look different for everyone? Because it’s about finding what is important to you and what brings you joy.
As I said, I still at times feel overwhelmed by stuff. So to help me figure out what my version of a minimalist life looks like, I’m concentrating on what is important to me.
Those six things sum me up.
Family, is my foundation. I didn’t have a big family growing up, and never saw a lot of my extended family. Whenever we did get together, I remember how great it felt to be a part of something. Now, with my own family, having that feeling of belonging and closeness is supremely important. Family comes first. No question.
Writing. It’s what makes me me. It clears my head. Helps me not to overthink and get stuck in my head. It releases my creativity and brings me joy. Even when it’s tough.
Books are my escape to another world. When it all gets too much inside my head, there is nothing better than taking a walk through someone else’s story or moment in time. Books to me are freedom. They provoke thought, open my mind and spark my imagination. Is there anything better?
Photos. I have a deep attachment to photos. I’m not sure why. I think it’s nostalgia. I don’t have a lot of photos from my childhood and as my mum is not here to help me remember, I feel I’m missing something. So photo documentation of life is important to me. I make sure the photos I take each month are printed out and put in albums (yep, I’m old school). And those albums are in the lounge room for anyone to flick through. (Neatly arranged of course!)
Music. Music was my first friend. Sometimes it’s been my only friend. Music has helped me get through some of the lowest points in my life. And it’s also helped me experience some of my highest points. Not a day goes by where music isn’t a part of my life, even if it’s on in the background.
Travel. It’s the one thing I’m happy to splurge on. Not splurge as in 5-star all the way, more like a guilty pleasure. It’s not something everyone can afford, but both my husband and I love to travel, so for us, it’s something we work towards. We’ve been fortunate to have visited so many wonderful places, but there are so many more we can wait to see.
So it’s with these things in mind that I continue on the minimalist path. They help clarify what I need and don’t need around me, so if I ever question discarding something – I ask does it fit these six values? If I bring something into the home, I need to be more mindful of if it fits in with these values. It’s a work in progress. A slow work in progress. But I’m getting there.
I’m planning a few more posts on minimalism over the coming weeks. I’ll be covering my vision for a capsule wardrobe, mental decluttering, and parting with ‘just in case’ things. So if you’re interested, please be sure to pop back.
Where do you sit on the minimalist debate? Is it something totally foreign to you?
Or something you can see yourself gravitating towards?