Minimalism has been growing ever since the early-mid 2000’s as the natural health and wellness fad continued to spread, especially with the younger generation of millennials and younger. The idea of simplifying your life by first simplifying the world around you definitely has it’s appeal.
I’ve been drawn towards minimalism since I watched “Minimalism: A Documentary”on Netflix late last spring. Basically, this film is a documentary about how two dudes, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, traveled around America lecturing on the benefits of being a minimalist and how it can “change your life too” (not their words exactly, so I’m not making fun of them, I just wanted to be a little cheesy).
I liked the idea though: having just enough to be content, but not too little to where you’re lacking on anything. It’s also a proven fact that when people have less to choose from they are more likely to be happier because the stress of having too many choices made having those choices a lot less fun. Since I already stress myself out enough in my daily life, I thought “hey, maybe it would be cool to give this thing a try”.
Did I immediately go to my room and get rid of everything I owned except the essentials?
Heck no. I was not ready to go through and get rid of all the stuff that I had been hoarding for the past three years. No judgement okay; a lot of that stuff had sentimental value to me, which sometimes gives random “junk” enough value in a person’s mind to hold onto. I did however decide that (before I hit all the real places minimalism needed to be implemented) that I could minimize my closet.
I know that some people out there are probably having a heart palpitation thinking about getting rid of some of their clothes, shoes, bags, etc. because as humans, we are very attached beings. We get attached to everything: that shirt we wore four years ago to that one school event, our childhood teddy bear, that loose string on the ground from a couple years back… Anything and everything that we could put an attachment on, we do it. It’s just a human thing. I’m sure there is a lot of good psychological research out there on that, but I stray.
Anyway, so I decided that the easiest place for me to start minimalism would be my closet. I am not really attached to certain clothes items because I have an ever changing style; I get bored sticking to one thing for too long. Plus, as I’ve gotten older, my tastes have changed (drastically, I might add). By the time that I decided to deep clean and purge my closet, I’d had some of the same clothes that I wore when I was a junior in high school. And I don’t know if y’all have picked up on this quite yet, but I am a very different person than I was my junior year of high school. And a lot of the clothes that I had been keeping weren’t really fit for a 20 year old or for my personal style anymore.
So it was the easiest way for me to start decluttering all the stuff that I no longer needed without overwhelming myself by getting rid of things I actually cared about (like my book collection, for example). The first few clothing items/shoes were definitely difficult to put in the “give away” bag; I mean, I remembered wearing them places that made me a little nostalgic. But what I realized after the first few things was that it was dumb that I was keeping all this stuff. I hadn’t worn a lot of the things that I had more than once or even in a year or more. I had just been hoarding it because I was afraid to give it up. The whole “maybe I’ll need it in a decade” mentality.
But I didn’t need it, and if I didn’t need it in a year, I probably wouldn’t need it in another one. After coming to think conclusion, decluttering became a lot easier for me. Pretty soon, I had gone through every piece of my closet and gotten rid of anything that I no longer needed or wanted, or that no longer fit my style. Once I had gone through my closet, I found myself moving on to other places where I kept my things, and I started to minimize all of that too. Now, this wasn’t all in one day, but over the course of a couple of months; but by the time I was done minimizing everything, I had even cut back on my treasured book collection.
And I didn’t miss any of it.
It had been out of sight, out of mind for so long that once it was actually gone, I didn’t think about it at all. But now I had all this empty space and a lot fewer decisions to make when it came to picking out an outfit. Keeping the clothes that I wore all the time and really loved made it easy for me to just put on whatever without having to dig through all the extra crap that was getting in my way. And believe it or not, without all the extra stuff everywhere, I became a lot less stressed. Less mess, less laundry, less pushing things around to find other stuff I wanted. And my space became a lot less cluttered to live in, too.
So what is the weekly recommendation that I’m going to give you all? Get rid of some crap!
Seriously, we keep so much that we don’t need and buy even more that we don’t need, and all it does it make us more unhappy in the long run. I’m not saying go ride or die immediately, but maybe start with something small and see how you feel about it, like I did. But, I warn you it’s addicting and you probably won’t stop until you’ve simplified everything in your life.
Let me know what you think about minimalism in the comments and if you try to declutter your closet (or anything that you think needs to be decluttered).
Over and Out,