Something I've become extremely passionate about over the last year is minimalism. What exactly is minimalism? Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists Podcast said it best:
My obsession with minimalism began after reading Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. After spending most of my college years daydreaming about being able to fit all my belongings (besides furniture, of course) in my Honda CR-V, I knew I needed to learn more about living with less. Around this time, I also developed an infatuation with tiny houses. I loved the idea of living with only the essentials, in a small (less than 400 sq ft!), affordable, cozy space that could easily be transported around the country.
Kondo's book completely changed my relationship with material items. Her practice centers around a simple concept: If something you own doesn't spark feelings of joy, get rid of it. Over the span of several weeks, I evaluated everything in my apartment and donated/trashed two dozen garbage bags full of stuff. Stuff I didn't need, stuff I didn't use, stuff I didn't love. How did I feel when the process was complete? Like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
Many people think minimalism is boring. They imagine bare walls, an empty wardrobe, and a single set of silverware. But the reality is so much more fulfilling.
The amazing thing about minimalism is that it begins as a journey to declutter your material belongings, but it evolves into something even more meaningful. Over time, minimalism becomes a lifestyle. After organizing my apartment and only keeping things that brought me joy, I began to crave joy and simplicity in every area of my life. I became more intentional with my health. Exercise became an integral part of my week, and I adopted a clean, healthy diet that significantly improved my chronic health issues and digestive problems. I dedicated more time and money to self-care. I took strides to become debt free, unencumbered by monthly credit card payments that resulted from buying too much stuff I didn't need. I realized I didn't want to be held down by toxic friendships and relationships. Instead, I wanted to surround myself with uplifting, positive people who shared my values and interests. Social media began to feel like a burden, and I simplified how many platforms I used, how much I shared on them, and how many apps I had on my iPhone. These new habits have been consistent in my life for the past year, and as time goes on, they become even more ingrained in who I am as a person. Right now, I feel more "me" than ever before. I'm less anxious, less stressed, and I feel happier and more joyous. Minimalism has given me an invaluable opportunity to discover who I am, what my values are, where my priorities lie, and how I want to live the rest of my life.
If you're interested in minimalism, I have a few recommendations for you to check out! I'll be updating this often, as I'm constantly discovering great resources that center around living a slow, simple life.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
- The 30-Day Minimalism Game
- mnmlist: Minimalism FAQs
- Folk Rebellion
- Tiny House Movement: Affordable Housing Revolution
If you enjoyed reading this and want to see similar posts in the future, let me know! I'm thinking about doing a minimalism series and diving deeper into the world of living with less.