I added minimalism in my life about 2 years ago. You think that you will become minimalist overnight by only sorting things in your house. But minimalism is more than that. And that’s what the two men from the blog The Minimalists tell in their documentary on Netflix. Minimalism allowed them to get out of a life they didn’t want, to focus on what was really important and of course to save quite a lot of money.
I think there are as many way to approach minimalism as there are minimalist people. Everyone integrates minimalism as he wishes in his life. Some will need to do a huge sort in their house and move into something smaller to feel minimalist. These people feel like they have changed their lives. Others will take a 180-degree turn in their lives and change everything: significant other, job, city or country.
When one begins to become a minimalist, one starts by sorting at home. There is also a less harsh method of throwing one thing a day for a month. Personally, I prefer sorting room by room. I feel like I have really done something. Sorting is important in minimalism but it’s only a small part of it. Sorting allows you to empty your head of unnecessary physical matters and to focus on the life you want to have: being present for your family, traveling, living your passion, and so on …
Minimalism brings you something different. Here is what it brought me.
Focus on really important things
During my exams I used to spend a full morning cleaning my room. I needed it to start studying. If I didn’t do it, I couldn’t concentrate and I thought of all the sorting I could do. When I did my cleaning, I felt like I was in control while, in truth, I had no control over my exam. But I also needed to make room around me to be able to concentrate.
As of today, I don’t feel like I’ve reached my goal of minimalism yet. I still have these urges when something really important is coming, but it is less often than before.
Once your head is emptied of everything that is material and you like every object in your home, you can focus on what’s most important and get things done. Like concretizing the projects you’ve had in your head since long ago.
I can now be determined for the things I really want to do like this blog or eat better or spend time with my boyfriend. Before, I couldn’t have done it all at once.
I have the impression that minimalism gives us time to do more things in life because we are less preoccupied with frivolous things.
So obviously, that makes sense! But it’s not because I’m minimalist that I’m not buying anything anymore. Some minimalist go to this extreme there, with a chair and a table at home as their only furniture. Personally, I couldn’t go to that extent, I just buy less than before. There even are some things I don’t buy anymore as I explain in this article.
For example, I buy less clothes (even if it’s not what my mother would say!) because I know my style, I know what suits me and I try to buy good quality despite a tight budget. There is so much clothes that I don’t buy at all.
I also make much less provision. I buy less in advance. If I already have, I don’t buy something extra even if it differs a little. For that, it’s a little war at the apartment because my boyfriend likes to buy things in bulk and in advance.
Buying a lot less allows me to live in a smaller space. We save money by buying less and renting a smaller apartment!
To know what I really want and what I don’t want anymore
Despite what we can think of minimalism, I’m certain that integrating it into our lives allows us to really do a lot of things. Over the months, I understood what I really wanted in life and what I didn’t want at all. The people with whom I wanted to spend time and those I don’t want to see anymore. I also prioritize what’s really important to me and find time to do it. I know for example that I really want to preserve my personal life from my professional life and I try not to come back late at night. For me it’s something very important.
I know that all of this may seem very abstract, especially if you think that minimalism is all about having fewer things. Having fewer things frees your mind and allows you to think about what is important to you and what you really want.
I will always remember one of the clients’ words in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which said: “I got rid of everything that was not useful to me, so I asked for a divorce”. Minimalism is exactly that! There is no need to go to such extent every time. But you figure out what you really want from life by leaving the cumbersome things behind you.
Will you give minimalism a shot? What do you want it to change in your life?