My journey into minimalism

tea timeWhat do you think of when you hear the word minimalism? Some may picture a deprived life where you can’t own more than a few belongings. But what is minimalism? One of my favourite definitions is this:

Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution. (This quote came from theminimalists.com. You can find more of their posts here if you’re interested.)

Basically, it means that you only keep things that add value to your life. This includes things you use on a regular basis and the things you love.

I’ve been interested in minimalism for about a year now. It started when I was looking for ways to reduce the clutter in my closet and in my home. I had a lot of things sitting around that really didn’t serve a purpose and I was tired of seeing stuff everywhere. I think I started googling ‘ways to declutter’ and ‘how to organize your house’ and found all sorts of neat stuff on pinterest and youtube. I also discovered project 333 which I will probably discuss in another post. All of this lead me to minimalism. I liked the idea of being a minimalist, but the transition to becoming one can be quite daunting. However, my discovery of minimalism coincided with moving to a new apartment. So as I packed, I was able to get rid of things I hadn’t used in years. As an introvert, I really love the idea of a simple life. Both in the things around me, but also with how I use my time. Minimalism is something I’ve really embraced and its helped me simplify my life.

When I’m going through my belongings, I always ask myself one question. Does this add value to my life? If the answer is no, then I’ll either give it away, sell it, or donate it. That way it can add value to another’s life. The important thing to remember is that minimalism looks different for everyone. It doesn’t mean that you have to fit all your belongings into a backpack, or that you can’t own a car or a house. Minimalism can include a full bookshelf of meaningful stories.  As long as those items add value to your life, there’s no reason you shouldn’t keep them. Minimalism is directly applied to physical things, but the idea can also be applied to relationships and people too.

The thing I love most about minimalism is that it focuses on the things in life that are truly important: relationships, people, and experiences.

What are your thoughts?

Image credit: “Tea cups in a line” by Sheila Sund is licensed under CC by 2.0

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20 thoughts on “My journey into minimalism

  1. VTNessa says:

    I definitely need to pare down quite a bit of stuff from my home. I’ve heard it’s a good idea to go through your house once every year or two and purge whatever would not be worth packing up to a new place. I think minimalism takes that several steps further, which sounds really good to me!

    I think that minimalism was most people’s normal up until 50-60 years ago. In the last half-century or so, we’ve become so attached to things of little value but highly distracting, so getting back to basics is a great idea!

    I feel a clutter purge coming on! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bart Leahy says:

    I concur. I once had a college professor call me (not in a complimentary way) “reductionist” because I simplified critical theories to their basics and tried to explain what the really meant, if anything. Keeping things simple–from my home furnishings to the words that come out of my mouth–is about the only way I can function anymore. Throw in too many variables and I get overwhelmed.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ally says:

      That’s awesome, I’m already starting to feel the benefits of living with less. Definitely a lot less stress. I”ll have to check out your blog, thanks for the link 🙂

      Like

  3. buff327 says:

    I saw a tv show last year about people who keep everything. The man had so much stuff that he had to use a ladder to climb into the second story window of his house. He couldn’t open the front door anymore because his first floor was packed solid. I embrace the minimal lifestyle, too. You can move quicker with less stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shanelg09 says:

    I completely agree! I used to be so scared of the term and now I embrace it, being the daughter of a hoarder and keeping waaaay to much stuff myself for a long time, but newly launching my business after going through the minimalism process I have struggled explaining it to potential clients so I am actually working on synonyms to stop freaking people out! lol
    check out my new site if you have any feedback for me!
    Shanelwhitley.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Léa says:

    Minimalism is the only way for some of us. Those with A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) get easily overwhelmed by ‘stuff’. My philosophy is It’s all stuff. Now with that said it does not include books and art supplies but even there it can go over the top. Every so often I must take sacks of books to a local book exchange. Some societies almost demand materialism. I’m grateful for the freedom from ‘stuff’. Years ago I came to think that we don’t own stuff, stuff will own us.

    Thanks for the follow on one of my blogs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sensitivetype says:

    I am the opposite of a minimalist, in terms of stuff, at least. I have more interests than I can actively express in my life at any given point in time, so I have the relics and equipment of them all. Keeping this stuff around during the inactive periods adds the value of keeping hidden sides of myself visible, but there is a cost, and I often envy people who live in one of those tiny houses, surrounded only by a few things they absolutely love. I want to be a time minimalist, spending time only on things I absolutely love doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I also have a lot of different interests that pull me in different directions and so many new things I want to try. I like the idea of being minimalistic with my time, only focusing on the important things 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sensitivetype says:

    I am also distracted by clutter in my space, so it’s a major challenge to keep stuff organized so I can find it when I need it, but it’s out of the way when I don’t is. My biggest obstacle to time minimalism is finding paid work that aligns with my interests. We spend so much of our time at work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      So true! Once you’ve gotten home from work, things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc really take up the rest of the evening. It usually isn’t until the weekend that I can spend time on hobbies and interests.

      Like

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