We find ourselves consumed in a society of consumerism. As soon as we leave our front doors a flood of advertisements and sales bombarded us and try to attract our attention in order to buy their product.
This is Time square in New York city.
As much as we try to be aware of these traps, we often fall victim to their games. We make impulse purchases for a small dopamine kick and regret that decision only days later. You can’t blame yourself, this is how society is designed, to get your attention and then your money. A pair of people are trying to combat this, they call themselves the Minimalists.
Even though the lifestyle of minimalism was first popularised in the 1960’s, the Minimalists were some of the earliest to publish articles and newsletters on this subject. They have had a huge impact on this type of lifestyle, so much so, they have their own documentary on the topic. I have been intrigued by the idea of letting go, however I have been intimidated by the idea.
Marie Kondo has also been very prevalent in this realm, making tv shows, writing articles and publishing videos. She is famous for asking “Does this spark joy?” That is what you should be asking yourself when deciding whether to keep something or not.
This is not what minimalism has to look like. You do not need to restrict yourself to a certain amount of items, keep what makes you happy.
If you associate an object with a memory, you use it at least once a month, unless it is a seasonal item, or if you have multiple of the same thing, keep the item. Otherwise, get rid of it! You don’t need four notepads sitting on your desk. You don’t need three pairs of elf socks. You don’t need to keep that snorkel in your closet in case you ever travel to Australia. Unless you do. And that is the beauty of this! Only you can make these decisions, there are no rules or restrictions, only tools to help guide you on your path to happiness. That is what is great about minimalism. You define what minimalism is to you and use the tools provided to get there.
You are probably excited to break free from impulse purchases and start on your journey towards less, but how? Here are a few tips to think about.
One in, one out: This one is simple, if something comes in, something has to go out. If you buy a shirt, you have to get rid of a shirt. Donate, sell or throw away, that is up to you. The principle here is that you should not be taking in more.
Good, not perfect: Everyone has a junk drawer, that is normal. Just because you are starting on your journey of minimalism does not mean you need to be perfect. You are allowed to keep stuff! That is why minimalism is so great, you make it what you want.
Keep it simple: Make it easy on yourself. Do not wake up one morning and tell yourself you are only keeping 100 items in your house, everything else is out! Make your goals attainable, more importantly, make them sustainable.
I hope that you have all the tools you need to start on your journey. If you are really serious about minimalism, try out the 30-day minimalism game, it will push you even further. Minimalism isn't an easy journey, it will take commitment, grit and determination, but it 9isn more than worthwhile. Minimalism isn't a task or a goal, it is a lifestyle.