By now, I’m sure that pretty much everyone has heard of minimalism. Originally, it started out being used to describe an art/music style that emerged soon after WWII. Or perhaps you’ve heard it used to describe architecture, or interior design. However, what is all this hype about the concept of minimalism as a lifestyle?
The concept of minimalism as a lifestyle was recently made popular by the Netflix documentary, “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things,” which was released about a month ago. It follows the journey of Joshua Fields and Ryan Nicodemus, who are two friends that embarked on the journey of embracing a minimalist lifestyle, and are now known as “The Minimalists.” I highly recommend watching this documentary, if you haven’t already seen it, as it really delves into what exactly minimalism is and how it can be incorporated into your everyday life.
“Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less; rather, we focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth, more contribution, more contentment. More freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps us make that room” ~ The Minimalists
So, I decided to embark on my own journey of discovering how this concept of minimalism could be incorporated into my own life. I slowly realized that as I began to purge unnecessary “things” from my closet, and my life in general, I began to eliminate emotional clutter from my life as well. While it might not sound like the nicest thing ever, I even began to “let go” of toxic people in my life. Whether friends, family members, or guys I was dating, I slowly began to realize that there were some people in my life who were weighing me down. I mean, why surround yourself with toxic relationships and unnecessary “acquaintances,” when you can instead choose to simplify your life and hone in on the people that really matter to you?
The result? I slowly started to feel freer to simply be myself. I began to enjoy all of life’s simple pleasures, and my mind began to feel less “cluttered.” I became less anxious, stressed, and depressed, and I felt like I could focus more on what really matters. Even the physical “stuff” I got rid of ended up bringing about positive benefits. The emptier my closet became, the less time I had to stress about what to wear. The more physical space I cleared, more mental space also became available. I was able to move everything to DC with only 3 suitcases, and that not only made moving much easier, but it also felt pretty amazing.
Furthermore, getting rid of all the “extra” stuff and clutter in my life has made me more focused on the things that are really important to me. For example, instead of having a million decorative throw pillows on my bed, I instead chose to keep only one (which has one of my favorite quotes on it). I kept it because it is meaningful, and it brings me joy. My room is now sparsely decorated, yet filled with things I love and serve some purpose in my life (whether emotional or physical). Same with all the clothes in my closet, if it doesn’t fit, or if it doesn’t bring me joy, I donate it. Check out the difference for yourself…
While becoming minimalistic with tangible “stuff” is a great start, I encourage you to delve into what minimalism could look like as a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is full of intention and simplicity, which allows for us to make room for “life’s important things” (which, hint hint, aren’t things at all).