Minimalism can seem like a strange, hard to define concept, not only to those who don’t regard it with high importance, but also to those amongst us who hold it as a cornerstone to their best lives. To me, minimalism has always been, as above, an artistic movement. But what about when people begin applying the concept to their lifestyles? Is less really more? And how do we go about shaping our lives in this so-called “minimalist” way? These are the exact questions which I am hoping to answer through my own, personal experience of contracting my life to fit into the minimalism thresholds. I want to declutter not only possessions, but also my mind, my time, and my relationships. I want to strip everything back to its bare minimum. I want to be as free from the constraints of modern, consumerist life as possible.
The minimalist way of life has been something that I have grown more and more aware of over the last few years, but over the last few months I have become a great deal more conscious of this alternative lifestyle that an increasing number of people seem to be advocating. It began with a few YouTube videos on how to declutter (I was having a hard time parting with useless, but sentimental, possessions, and needed a little guidance). I eventually came across Jenny Mustard’s channel, and found the way in which she and her partner chose to live incredibly refreshing. So, I dug a little deeper, and eventually discovered – perhaps strangely, as they are arguably the most popular minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I watched their Netflix documentary and, for lack of a better term, was completely floored.
What I’d previously believed about minimalism (that you could only own a limited amount of possessions and live like a hermit) was blown to pieces. Their idea is that, as long as something is useful to you, you should keep it. Just have what you really need to get by, and what brings pleasure to you, and you’re good to go. You don’t need excess, you don’t need that latest gadget, you don’t need what’s popular on catwalks currently – and if you don’t agree, then you’re probably not a minimalist. The last couple of sentences may seem a little contradictory of one another, so let me explain: “things” only bring you temporary pleasure. Own things that mean something to you, that will stand the test of time, and that you won’t want to get rid of or replace in five minutes.
I’m setting myself a challenge, and want to use this blog to document it. I want my life to be as free from the constraints of “stuff” as possible, and instead, rich with experience, with real happiness, and not temporary pleasure derived from pointless possessions. I tend to attach a lot of sentiment to certain things that needn’t have it, and so I understand that the path on which I intend to embark is not going to be a simple one. But to achieve simplicity takes work, commitment, and a drive and motivation to make a change and live a more purposeful life. So, here goes.