Less is more, was a quote I often read in self-help books. I will not focus on how and why I got into minimalism, that’s another story altogether, however, I shall list five ways my life changed after adopting minimalism. To begin with, what is minimalism? If I had to sum it up in a single sentence, I’d say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfilment, and freedom. So, here are the five ways in which my life changed for the better after I adopted a minimalist lifestyle:
I Learnt The Art Of Detachment
First things first, I was a hoarder, I would NEVER ever throw anything out, hopelessly clinging on to the idea that at some point, deep in the future, an object would come in handy to me. Eventually, I had piles of clothes that I hadn’t worn in years, things stuffed in my cupboard in the hope that one day, they would be of use to me. I had read several blogs and articles on de-attachment on the Elephant Journal and other Buddhist readings, but truly understood the essence of it once I started practising decluttering.
Let me tell you, it won’t come easy, it’s going to break your heart every time you dispose of an item, but I can also tell you that it’ll be worth it. Once I started decluttering regularly, I wasn’t overwhelmed by things that I owned anymore, and surprisingly, I tasted freedom, and of a very different kind.
Decluttering Instilled The Idea Of ‘Space’
I cannot emphasise on how much decluttering is stress relieving, no really! Once you learn how to de-attach yourself from material possessions, there is nothing that you are bound by. Throwing things is one part of the story, the other part of the story is the space that it leaves behind. You are bombarded with questions like do you need to fill this space, if yes, what should you fill that space with, is it even necessary? To begin with, the emptiness, the vacant spaces make you uncomfortable, renders you uneasy. Honestly, once I got over this phase, I cannot tell you how free and light I felt. In fact, now I firmly believe in regularly De-cluttering my space, because what I learned in this process is that you must let go to make space for newer, better things.
You Have Time! Lots Of It!
Imagine giving away/throwing away most of your belongings and being left with just the basics; inevitably, I didn’t have much to worry about. Like how I needed to sort out my wardrobe or re-arrange my room or look relentlessly in my bag to find that one lipstick which I thought I kept in the bag but turns out it was hiding in my travel pouch in the suitcase that was lying in my room.
Thankfully, I don’t spend my time re-arranging or looking for things but actually just being, just breathing, just doing absolutely nothing.
Simple Living, High Thinking
Once I learnt to live minimally, my expenditure really reduced. My life was not governed by the validation I got by consuming discount coupons. Ever since I have become comfortable in my minimal space, it, in fact, takes me a lot of time and mental effort to really decide what I want in my life and what I can do away with. And this is not just in reference to tangible things but in regard to people too. I have so much more time and resources to invest in things that I ACTUALLY enjoy doing, things that ACTUALLY add value to my life.
You Really Connect With People
Decluttering doesn’t necessarily involve throwing things away, in fact, I would consider that the most useless way to De-clutter. Once I am done with the process of figuring what adds value to my life and what doesn’t, I put all the ‘don’t’s together and then either upscale them, re-purpose them, or give them away to someone who is in need or interested in taking the things away. And it’s when you share, that you actually form connections, a part of you stays with them or vice versa if you are at the receiving end. The world is filled with landfills of garbage, and adding one less item to that garbage pile really does make a difference.
It’s been two years and my learning has been tremendous. I have seen a qualitative difference and I am still discovering new aspects of myself as I embark on this journey. As much as this may sound industrial, Minimalism is the thought and De-cluttering the action.