Minimalism Is a Tool to Create the Life You Want
The most powerful benefit of minimalism
If there is one most single important thing minimalism can give you, that is FOCUS.
You can give full attention to what you consider of the most value to your life at the moment. Imagine not having to lose or misplace your keys ever. Remember the stress and hassle you went through every time this happens. And this is just the mundane thing. Think about higher and deeper aspects of your life you can work on.
On a personal note, I want to invite calmness and joy into my life. I realized having a ton of things cannot give me that. More often than not they are distractions and drain to my energy and money. So I started using my limited resources such as time, energy, and attention to activities that bring me closer to what I desire. And these include activities surrounding art and creative pursuit, nature that nourishes the spirit and mindfulness that lets me be immersed in the present moment.
I realized minimalism is a long term process. And in my first year where I started decluttering, I noticed that there is a space that was created. It is almost like a void and it is scary. But when I persisted, I saw what I want to welcome into my life to fill that void.
Minimalism in times of crisis
During Covid-19 situation, I saw the importance of not having dust accumulating on things and clutter which can cause nasal irritation or allergies especially when dusting. A few surfaces to wipe with wet cloth makes cleaning easier.
I was very intentional with buying things and this has freed extra cash during this emergency situation to buy food and necessities. We all know going out less reduces the risk of exposure and so having enough food, medicines and supplies inside the house can be life-saving.
Working on my minimalism journey has also kept me busy and occupied during the quarantine period which helped in mental resiliency to all the fear and chaos going on around.
Let's Start from the Beginning: Why?
What do you want to achieve by embarking on the journey of minimalism? What do you picture the outcome or result will be?
For me, it was finding contentment, healing from my unhappiness and feeling of inadequacy. I was physically and mentally ill. And I know this is rooted from something deeper, something emotional and spiritual and will not be cured by any medicine.
Even a decade ago I have known about minimalism and I only associated it with home aesthetic and I got nothing beneficial out of it.
The Next Question. How?
My inspiration were extreme minimalists like Fumio Sasaki, author of Goodbye, Things and Yeohum who is the content creator of her youtube channel Heal Your Living.
My preference is a less extreme minimalism but their philosophy and method helped me in my decluttering process.
1. I scanned and took photos of files before discarding them. What I kept in hard copies are the really essential ones and I am so happy that they are so manageable now.
2. I discarded all my books (except Taxation)
3. I cleared out wires, chargers and computer accessories that are no longer working.
4. I decluttered my bag
5. I got rid of makeup items I no longer use
6. I trimmed down my wardrobe.
7. I gave away someday items like a fishing rod.
8. I got rid of items linked to my fantasy self that is not working out like clothes that I know I have nowhere to wear to.
It was a tedious but fun process. My role models were extreme minimalist so I felt like a rich woman living in excess with all of my remaining stuff. But I was amazed at how much I have and feel challenged to create my own capsule wardrobe. But I am not yet there. I am still in the process of wearing the clothes, shoes and bag in my wardorobe until they are worn out.
The decision on what to keep and what to discard lies on you because you know what is important and essential and what you can do without or are no longer using.
Look around. All that clutter used to be money. - Unknown
What is left are my personal treasures
They are not considered treasures in terms of monetary value. But for me they are valuable. For example my blankets that have kept me warm through so many cold Decembers and Januaries, my favorite pants that match perfectly with most of my tops that have made me presentable at work and I wear while I try to earn a living. My salt lamp that have comforted me with its warm glow at night.
Now I can focus my energy on maintaining them rather than accumulating more. This is how I find contentment.