We live in a society where all the ads on television and in the newspapers telling us that we need this item right now, telling us that we will be complete once we have obtained that said item. That being said, you will not be complete with whatever item the ad is trying to sell to you. Instead, you will be spending more money on something that you probably didn’t need anyway. The society that we currently live in is all about more; more food, more clothes, more toys, just more of anything, and for a few minutes there will be a glimmer in your eyes telling the rest of us and yourself that you are happy, but in reality you are not. So instead of coping with your hoarding hobby, you make your way over to the nearest strip mall and you start roaming through the aisles, looking for something to make you feel that “happiness” once again. But then you don’t find it.
As a traveler, blogger, and coach, I find myself in the same boat but only with books. Being a bookworm, I am always wanting more books, to fill some sort of emptiness that I have deep inside. But I know for a fact that even though I love books and that they make me happy for a period of time when I am reading them, I know that they will not fill that void. So I tell myself that I should only keep a certain amount of books for the next six months, and once I am done; I will get rid of the ones that I do not want to continue reading. It makes it easier for me, and not only that, it makes it easier for when I travel to my next destination.
Creating a minimalist lifestyle might seem daunting, but in reality, it isn’t that hard. It is just creating piles of things to figure out what it is you are going to keep and what you are going to throw away or donate.
Wardrobe: The wardrobe is the most common place for many people to hoard clothes. Most people will buy articles of clothing and never wear them, just to only sit in the closet or drawer to gather dust. Creating a minimalist wardrobe is easy, and you can still have your own style and flair to go along with it. Only having 25 to 30 articles of clothing (not including intimates: boxers, underwear, bras, swimsuits), makes it easy on you to have some fun to mix and match your clothes, and makes it easy for when you are traveling to go to weddings, visit relatives, or even go overseas. **If you haven’t worn the article of clothing within the past 6 months, then donate it, because in reality you might never wear it again.
Books: I know, all of you bookworms out there that are just like me are gasping for air because I have put this into this post. However, let’s be realistic, traveling and lugging around two or three suitcases of books is not ideal in any situation. Because I’ve attempted that once, it was a horrible mistake. Now, I keep only 15 to 20 books with me at all times, then twice a year I go through them and look over them to see which ones I don’t want to keep, then replace them with different books for the next year.
Food: Yes, food is going to be on here. The reason why it is, is due to the fact that people eat way more than they used to, it is all about bigger and fuller plates, than actually enjoying what is in front of you. And for the most part, people don’t even eat half of what is in front of them, then they just toss the rest into the garbage can. The food we put into our stomach is for us to enjoy and savor the aroma and delicious herbs and spices that are placed upon the food. It is also to keep us nourished and keep us healthy. Food isn’t meant to be wasted in the landfills, while there are millions of children in third world countries are looking for a meal on the streets. If you are single, and enjoy making big batches of food for the work week, there is nothing wrong with that, just make sure that you don’t waste it by chucking it out, and don’t gorge out on it either, use proportions.
Email: We live in the digital age where everyone has an email account that is linked to their social media accounts, and also linked to their work. However, sometimes, the inbox can become cluttered with unwanted messages and scams. Cleaning out your inbox at least three times a month will help your digital side of life, minimalist as well.
Quality over quantity: When it comes to clothes, toys, and electronics, most people think that more is always better, but you don’t need to have more in order to have those things. Invest wisely in those things, find things that you know that you can wear over and over again for a while, until they are torn down; or those electronic devices that can last a long time. Because being able to use an object for a long time is a great thing, because you can create different outfits or you can still surf the web and create amazing documents on that computer, or your child can still play with the toy without it breaking down on them after only a few months. *I had a backpack that I had kept for four years and it finally fell apart, so I invested in a new one. I do the same thing with shoes, clothes, and electronic devices.
Living a minimalistic life is not daunting, you are only making it appear that way because you are unsure of how to start, and you are afraid to let go of the things that you truly do not need. Simplifying life creates more room to breathe, more room to be creative, and give your space some breath of fresh air so to speak.