What is the first image that pops into your head when you hear that word?
Ask the same of your husband, wife, sister or friend. I am willing to put money on it, every one will have a different image and belief about the same word and concept.
Some will swear that minimalists are boring hippies, others believe that you need to surround your self in monochrome colour scheme to be part of the tribe and there is people who simply think that it’s all a new fad for those who like to live like none conformists.
If you are on the fence and not sure who to believe then read on. Here is my view and why I decided to walk the path of minimalism
Last year I was searching for a blow up boat, we had purchased it in Croatia while I was pregnant with Charlie. I turned the house upside down and found many things like bows my brides maid dresses originally had and we decided to change, I found old high school diaries, Kinder surprise toy parts … not the whole toy but random bits and pieces.
I looked for this blow up boat for a good hour, but all I found was long lost ‘things’. The longer I searched, the more obscure objects I found.
I was asking my self what am I saving this for?
I spent a lot of money on storage solutions over the years. I NEEDED it to keep all the things I have!
But what was I keeping all these things for?
It was then I started the fist phase of minimalism - The Cull!
Over the last year I have culled so many things! I have taken 3 full van load of rubbish to the tip and I have donated 6 cars full of cloths, furniture, DVDs, etc.
And I’m not finished yet!
But one thing I can say for sure, now that I’m on this side of The Cull, the more ‘stuff’ I got rid off the lighter, happier and more fulfilled I felt.
Quality over Quantity
Minimalism to me means thinking about the things I spend money on.
Not even a year ago, I couldn't walk past a bargain. If the price was right, I’d buy that top in three other colours. My shopping was driven by cost and not need or usefulness.
I’d come home from the shops with the same top in three colours…. after all even if I never wear the neon orange one it was only $5.
The truth is, we only wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.
So why then not buy quality items for the 20% of the things we wear? They would last longer, wear better and look nicer.
I’m currently working on my capsule wardrobe. I hope to strike a balance between looking fashionable and feeling comfortable in my cloths.
I don’t need THINGS to be happy!!!
It is that realisation that strikes me the most. The less things you have, the less you worry about!!
I’m not saying I have mastered it, but I do walk past shops and advertisements and don’t feel that uncontrollable pull to go in and buy ‘stuff’.
I don’t need cloths. I don’t need shoes. Charlie doesn’t need yet another Thomas the tank engine expansion pack.
I don’t buy things I don’t need and I come home satisfied that we had a nice walk, played in the park, enjoyed spending time together and didn’t spend money on more things I need to store.
Everything I buy, I buy for a purpose.
Every purchase is assessed:
Do I need this?
Will I use this?
Can I live without it?
Do I absolutely LOVE it?
I question everything and inevitably I end up with more money in my pocket. If only I saved by not purchasing items on sale I have saved $100s since I started.
I now have time to spend doing things that I enjoy and will remember.
The only reason I remember the pink pair of boots I bought in Sydney in 2004 is because I’m still paying them off!!! Even though I threw them away in 2007!!!
Instead of spending our day at the shopping centre with no purpose or fresh air. We now go for walks, have picnics in the park, go to the theatre or go for dinner to a fancy restaurant.
To me minimalism isn’t about restricting my self, it is actually the exact opposite.
Minimalism is Mindfulness!
It is an approach to the Materialistic life we lead. It has taught me how to say no to the bombardment of advertisements around me and to be mindful about what I spend my money on.
I’m learning how to allow my self to live in the moment and share experiences and memories with my family and friends vs. stock piling my wardrobe with shoes I will wear once.