I wrote previously about reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I have to say, that reading that book was indeed life-changing. The book helped me understand, in a new way, how to let go of things, and how to keep the things I absolutely needed and loved. I harnessed the power of decision making, something that non-minimalist lifestyles do not encourage well. I learned, to an even greater magnitude, how to appreciate and care for the things I chose to keep. In total, I got rid of more than 14 grocery bags worth of stuff, about 40% of what I owned! In return, what I gained was a better sense of self.
Today, what I want to talk about is how embracing minimalism has positively impacted my mindset, and I want to encourage anyone who is willing to give it a go!
First off, sorting through all my things and discarding everything I didn’t love, as the book instructs, left me with a much smaller body of possessions in the end. This really helped me realize what I really love. When I was going through all my clothes, I realized I had a lot of clothes that I like ok, but had stains, rips, or didn’t fit the way I wanted them to. For those reasons, they just weren’t quite right, so I got rid of them, and felt a lot better for it! I also managed to get rid of a lot of things I knew I’d never use again, like books I would never read, old textbooks, craft supplies for projects I never started, and so on. Instead, I was able to clear those things out and narrow it down to the books, projects, and other things that were really important. The natural thing to follow that would be that I appreciated what I did have a lot better, once I was aware of what I had and how much I liked it!
Another wonderful thing that happened with this was that I was faced with much less clutter. This took a psychological load off my mind, and has made my spaces much more relaxing to be in. Finding things is easier, as is cleaning and organizing those things. I really cannot emphasize enough what a relief it is to be rid of all those things I didn’t really like, use, or want. I really appreciate the physical and mental space these things left behind, so much so that I am very rarely tempted to shop. Instead, I protectively guard this de-cluttered and peaceful state of mind.
|This is the first donation I made to Goodwill, the entire trunk was full! There were more bags too come too!|
Additionally, having fewer things means I feel more motivated to take care of those things, because its much easier to keep track of all of them and take care of them. Doing laundry is quicker with less clothing, and using lotion is easier with less options! Plus, moving around is a lot easier with all of that extra stuff. Having fewer things makes it easier to organize and move what you do have, go figure.
My favorite effect by far that embracing minimalism has had on me is this: it’s helped me realize what most important to me. The people and treasured relationships in my life, and meaningful and impactful experiences, are the most meaningful parts of my life. With the material aspects of my life in better order, I find I have more time and energy to spend on these priorities, which makes me ecstatic!
Another thing that excites me is that I’m not even done discarding things yet. I moved to Missouri in the middle of the process, so it was much more abbreviated than I would have liked it to be. However, I am excited to know more discarding awaits me in the future. Paring my life down to the essentials is making it much easier to function, especially as I prepare for the next few steps of my life, post-graduation.
I am surprised by how much happiness I have derived from the simple act of getting rid of things. This is something that is, in my mind, absolutely revolutionary for people to know about. Stuff doesn’t make you happy- getting rid of it can help, though! In today’s world, I think people are really trapped by their stuff, as well as by their pursuit for more of it. Minimalism is liberating and helps you reevaluate your life, in a way that people can really use. I believe we need to place more value on our relationships, and our experiences, than our things.
What do you think about all this? Would you get rid of 40% of your stuff, or give it a shot? Let me know down in the comments :)
Photos: Ines Perkovic, 2 is mine