Why Minimalism Matters
S and I recently moved to our new apartment around Christmas time. As with all kinds of moving, it was a pain and an eye-opener into all the things we owned - and barely used. If you suffer from hoarding like S and I do, we would be best friends (with no room to drink coffee because of all the things we hoarded). It made me realize how easy it can be to accumulate material things, and how easy it can be to forget about those things.
We downsized our apartment, and subsequently, decided to use the opportunity of moving to declutter our lives. Although we have not quite embraced the minimalist lifestyle in the true sense, we have been able to declutter quite a bit. It made moving and unpacking that much easier - and we had the added benefit of feeling a bit more free and less tied to commercial things.
Here’s several benefits we felt from minimizing our unnecessary possessions and trying out a little simplicity:
Donating our things surprisingly freed up not only physical space, but also our minds.
Ever have a messy desk and finding it difficult to work on it due to all the clutter, or difficult to focus on the task at hand because of all that mess around your laptop? An unexpected surprise for us was that freeing up the things we had but rarely used actually made us feel less cluttered. It’s a difficult feeling and emotion to describe, but something in my brain felt as if I finally had room to breathe, room to grow, and room to focus on the things that I wanted to focus on. I know it sounds really voodoo, but it was just a feeling, almost an intuition, that just happened.
Removal of distractions
Minimalism at its core is the intention to remove distractions so one can bring forth to the present the values that matter to us the most.
With that being said, it was really hard for me to decide what clothes to donate and if I really needed that winter coat I barely wore last year. Donating things in my closet was like ripping off a bandaid...and after that initially horrible painful 5-10 seconds from parting ways with the things that I could potentially wear (but in reality never will wear), I did happen to feel a sense of clarity.
Decreased focus on those material wants and desires
It’s amazing how many seconds of the day we are bombarded with companies selling the latest smartphone, headphones, computers - you name it. Although S and I enjoy those Netflix and chill nights, having decluttered our space gave us more room for more of the intangibles in our lives, and we feel less in desiring the next best thing. No, we didn’t turn Amish and we don’t shun all material possessions, but it’s nice to have more focus on what’s important and less of a focus on tangibles.
Although we decided to declutter our lives due to moving and downsizing our apartment, I was surprised at how that alone has affected our thoughts, mindsets, and overall balance in life. Still on the fence about decluttering? Try it out for 1 week - pick one small thing to tackle and declutter and change your mindset into charity rather than throwing away things. See how that feels...I'm sure it won't hurt you!
Feeling like going on a minimalism journey? Try checking out this documentary that happened to make it to my Netflix queue: