introversion & minimalism

plant-2004483_1920.jpgAs an introvert, I’m easily overwhelmed. Put me in a loud, busy, crowded room and my brain quickly becomes fuzzy and sluggish. Similarly, if my place is cluttered and messy, it’s hard to find peace of mind. One thing that has really helped is minimalism.

Minimalism isn’t about living out of a backpack, or only owning 10 things. It’s about keeping only things that add purpose or value to your life. Imagine opening a kitchen drawer and being able to find exactly what you need without digging. Or opening your closet and creating an outfit with all your favourite clothes. It’s like that.

theminimalists.com (one of my favourite resources) defines minimalism this way:

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

I first discovered minimalism a couple of years ago. I had moved four times in two years and having to pack up things I never used got old pretty fast. I was also transitioning from a retail job (casual wear) to an office job (business casual wear). There were a few things that carried forward but most of my wardrobe became superfluous. I eventually went on a massive “get rid of everything I don’t need” party.

As a minimalist, I live in a tidy little apartment. I have throw blankets, pillows, art on my walls, plants, and candles. Books line my shelves. But I no longer have piles of useless things that serve no purpose. As a result, I’m a lot more content. Here are a few benefits to minimalism:

1. Peace of mind.
By getting rid of clutter, and keeping only things that have value or purpose, I’m no longer faced with piles of stuff sitting on all available surfaces. I love it. I can sit in my clean and tidy living room with a book, light a candle, and just enjoy the peace and quiet of the room. I never realized how stressed out stuff made me feel, until it was gone.

2. It’s cathartic.
Getting rid of things you don’t need feels amazing. It isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if it’s something nostalgic, but it’s worth it. I had so many things, some from 10 years ago, that I was moving from place to place but never used. If I haven’t used something in 6 months, there’s a good chance I won’t use it ever (I’m looking at you, ice skates from middle school).

3. Focus on priorities.
When you’re sorting through your personal items, it forces you to think about what’s really important. Do I really need to keep that grad dress that I only wore once, doesn’t fit anymore, and sits in my closet? Not really. Plus, when you’re no longer focused and distracted by material items, you can spend your time on the important things in life: family, friends and personal connections.

4. Cleaning is easier.
When you don’t own a lot of stuff, your place automatically looks cleaner and tidier with much less work. A friend stops by unexpectedly? No problem, your place already looks good to go. You also have less things to move when dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, etc. It’s awesome.

What are some of your thoughts?

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44 thoughts on “introversion & minimalism

  1. Bart Leahy says:

    I managed to do some decluttering on a couple of moves, to the point where my belongings can fit in a 10X10X10′ storage unit, if necessary. I try to maintain that amount of stuff. Occasionally I go on “junk purges” as well to clear out stuff I know I’m not going to need/use. The idea of getting a larger home/apartment bothers me because stuff tends to expand to fill the space given for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. VTNessa says:

    I’ve been getting into a “must get rid of junk” phase and am starting to create piles of things to donate, sell, etc. Unfortunately, one of the biggest areas I’d love to be rid of is not really practical to do so yet. We have a bunch of stuff from our son’s baby days that we keep around because we never know when we will get a foster child placement that needs something. The placements we have had each used a variety of our saved items, and we couldn’t afford to purchase all the things we need for various aged children each time we get a placement.

    I do love the idea of decluttering and am planning on getting rid of what we can in the near future. I guess that’s one of the perks of coming out of winter- we’ve been closed in enough all winter that we are ready to get rid of that which we don;t need! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Britta says:

    Living as an expat in Thailand really helped me appreciate the minimalist lifestyle. I had few so things in the first place, and I got rid of SO much (which really wasn’t a whole lot given that I didn’t have a whole lot in the first place) when I moved out of my apartment there to move back to the states.

    Now that I’m living back in the States, I’ve realized how easy it is for things to pile up–and that desire to keep things because of nostalgia is a HUGE thing, too. I love the concept of minamilism, though, and really want to make an effort to incorperate it into my life more.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. danalaquidara says:

    I agree with all of this. I am also an i trovert and overwhelmed by “too much- ness”! I love keepig my environme t simple and orderly and as a writer, I find it sparks the muse too! I get so excired for anyone beginning to purge because I know it’ll inspire them and bring peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. beemindfulblog says:

    I REALLY enjoyed reading thurs and was actually wanting more of it! I’m also an introvert so I completely understood how living the minimalism life can take such weight of one’s shoulders. Thank you for giving me inspiration. I’m new to this blog world and hope to also be writing about the minimalism lifestyle. Thank you

    Liked by 3 people

  6. simplynata says:

    i started my minimalism journey about two years ago and i can totally relate. i am also an introvert and booy has it been a relief to have this peaceful and calming atmosphere every time i come home. Thank you so much for this post

    sending love 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. purposefullyexist says:

    I am huge fans of the minimalists. I’ve read their books and listen to their pod casts religiously as well as having watched their documentary. While No one would look at my home and consider me a minimalist, I have gotten rid of 4 boxes of random items, 6 bags of clothes, and 2 pieces of furniture…work in progress! It is amazing how freeing it is. My thoughts have completely shifted and my entire life is more intentional as a product. I’m more content and find myself spending much less time on mindless pursuits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ally says:

      That’s awesome! It really is a freeing way of living. Even viewing things from a more minimalist perspective makes all the difference. So happy it’s been a positive experience for you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. declutteringmylifeweb says:

    It was so reveiling to declutter all the unnecessary items. Finally I acknowledged that I won’t learn German in the near future and donated the relevant books. I deleted the long-forgotten acquaintances from my directory and I do not blame myself while scrolling for having lost friends in the last 14 years. A more spacy spacy cupboard made everyday cooking more confortable.
    Although affording to downsize is a great privilege and here in the West we must not forget this.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. minimalistcloud says:

    I am a cold turkey? type of gal so when I decided on Minimalism, I decluttered the sh** out of my room. I realized the process itself is calming. The finish is satisfying and rewarding. I buy less spontaneously and focus more on the value of specific items and experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      That’s awesome! I totally agree, once I’d de-cluttered and gotten rid of so much junk, I had no desire to fill it back up again with more. When I go shopping for something, it’s a more deliberate process.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. thehappyguideblog says:

    I definitely agree with all the reasons you listed. I am in the process of getting rid of material things as well. I have a dream of traveling the world and frankly I don’t want be carrying a lot of boxes as I do. Plus as an introvert getting rid of stuff really is calming to my mind. One less item is one less thing I need to worry about.

    Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

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