My son and I are moving soon. (I have been asked where we are moving to so I want to add that for many great reasons we stay in Canada!) Moving for me means decluttering, selling and getting rid of things. Having less stuff makes me feel good, makes me less distracted, focus on other things that really matter (to me) and embrace a minimalistic mindset. I want to shift my thoughts from materialistic distractions that take way too much of my attention and time to less stress, more free time and flexibility. Essentially, minimalism for me is doing more of what matters – the little things in life.
Whenever I tell people I embrace a minimalistic lifestyle they ask me things like, “Oh, so you own like 100 items?” Far from it people- I love books!
When it comes to minimalism, there really is no right way to do it. Marie Kondo’s approach, for example, emphasizes that one should get rid of anything that does not spark joy.
There are many other methods on how to declutter but there is no right way to do it and there is nobody really can say you are doing it wrong. I read an email from a reader the other day saying that he only owns one cup and one plate and that I am not qualified to call myself a minimalist if I own more than that. Duh! I do not need to call myself anything or be recognized as such because it does not define me. I use minimalism as a tool to remove distractions from my life – any distractions that get in the way of doing more of what matters to me. I love to lower my stress levels, spend more quality time with my son, my friend(s) and those things usually never involve too many materialistic things.
I use the analogy that minimalism is like my camera lens. I am adjusting the lens and pull into focus what I want while I softly blur out everything behind and in the front. This helps me to realize and make decisions on what matters in my life and what does not. Minimalism is not a catch-all problem solver or the final answer, however. It is simply how I use time and space through a minimalistic approach to change my life for the better. These days, my son and I find joy in donating things for example. Toys he does not play with anymore, clothes that don’t fit. There is a lot of money to be made in selling what I don’t need which is a process that gives me clarity and satisfaction. Minimalism does not make my life perfect but it is a catalyst that gets me there one day at a time because I realize how little I actually need to be happy.
I have mentioned previously that I have had a pretty rough time for the last couple of months but minimalism created a space for me to handle these difficult situations more effectively. Applying a minimalistic mindset, I overcame financial struggles, relationship issues and other hard decisions that I had to make. I am more ready to handle the move because it is so much easier with a lot less stuff. I have fewer expenses which is helpful because I still do not have a job. Most importantly though, I do not have debt since I won’t use my credit cards to purchase things. In the long run, knowing that I do not need much makes me more flexible in my search for a job.
I believe that there are substantial advantages to buying and owing only what serves me or/and allows me to serve others. Minimalism is not about deprivation, however, having fun is perfectly acceptable. Just by removing distractions I make space for what I want to do. I slowly built habits that reflect the activities and goals that matter to me. In the long run, flow and creativity built upon those foundations of habits and I enjoy a life more based on curiosity than fear. Of course, living creatively looks different for everyone, but I reckon that habits and minimalism can get me there. Minimalism creates this space and habits that let me show up in the way I like to. My framework of minimalism, creativity, habits, and freeing the mind continues to work well for me.
Maybe it helps you to do more of what matters – whatever it may look like for you.