Minimalism may leave one thinking of a Zen garden or a spacious room. Over the years, I’ve decluttered and cleaned out many things that are not needed, or only take up space. They no longer serve a purpose, and are often a piece of paper with a note or a pair of shoes that you never wear. It’s only kept for its sentimental value. Of course, there will always be the bits and bobs that always stay with us. They give us a deep memory of a person or time. Minimalism is often known as cleaning out the materials you have. However, it is also the art of letting go and living with less. It gives time to focus on the important things in life. It means letting go of not only clothes, but having more space and time to accomplish things.
It means letting go of a friendship that may be causing you strain, travelling with only the necessities, treasuring what you have, spending less time buying, being focused on the positives, eating healthy and being more productive in your life. It makes the focus less on materials, and more on experiences and people. As someone who has period of moments where I experience anxiety, the art of letting go has been extremely helpful. It’s made my anxiety improve a lot compared to two years ago. It made me recognise how much time we can spend thinking about things that don’t matter. It also reminds us how important it is to look at the simplicity of life. The biggest creator of stress is when we imagine all the complicated scenarios that don’t end up happening.
Minimalism doesn’t mean I can’t buy this or that. It doesn’t mean that my house should feel empty or my wardrobe should hardly have any clothes. It means that in these cases, we will ask ourselves Do I really need it? and will I value it for a long time or is it something I will throw away at the end of the year. It also means not having too much emotional attachment with materials, but rather have a focus on our relationships, health, education and passions. It’s putting your time on what gives you true long term happiness, rather than the short term gains. When we live with less, we live with less negative thoughts and more contentment. We’re more present and spend time using our creativity, rather than consuming things.
We all want to feel fulfilled and at peace in our own life. Living life with less, means that we look for our happiness in life itself, rather than the clothes, makeup, car or house we have. Minimalism means letting go of unnecessary materials, bad habits, toxic people and negative thoughts. It allows one to focus on living a more meaningful and rewarding life. Some of the richest people in life are those who have experienced the world, seen many wonderful things and met many inspiring people. They feel completely fulfilled through the experiences they have. Whereas a poor person could be someone who may live in a large house with everything, but feel completely unsatisfied in their life.
Think of when you walk to the garage sale in the neighbourhood, or walk into a store of new clothes. We are all able to choose what we buy and take home. That in itself is something we are so fortunate to be able to do. We can choose this brand or the other, this style of clothing or that one. It means that there are endless options, and we have to make a choice of what we want to buy. It can sometimes lead to those buying what is trending and popular, which leads to discarding the item in the end, or some may buy what they truly like. When we buy what we truly like and need, we also embrace our own style, our differences and recognise the things we will cherish.
If I go window shopping and see a lovely coat or dress, the first thing I ask myself is “Do I need it?” and then I ask myself “How often will I wear this?”. Usually that helps me know if this is a long term purchase or simply a spontaneous purchase. That way you will know if this is something you’ll use in future. This mindset also helps when saving money, and avoiding buying several things that you won’t need in a years time. It also teaches one to really value what they have. Clothing is a great example, and when we think of our most loved clothing, we think about how it’s been worn for years and years. We can’t imagine throwing it out, unless the threads start loosening.