Minimalism looks different on everyone.
For some, it's having less than 50 items. Others, it might mean not having clutter around. But if you really love your (insert name here) collection, then sure, keep it.
Personal experience with minimalism
The realization started when I was in college and had to move. Holy crap! Why do I have so much stuff? What I described as one of the worst days of my life, wasn't enough to teach me a lesson. When I had to move again, this time not from a house to another, but from a continent to another; I learned my lesson. Well, kinda. I'm still learning.
Life has a tendency to repeat its lessons until you get it.
When I came back here, I felt weighed down by all the stuff we had in the house. I got rid of all the obvious things we didn't need. Then I pushed it a little, and got rid of more stuff as I hear a little voice in my head saying "You might need that one day!"
Ignore the voice. I haven't regretted anything that I've gotten rid of so far. Honestly, I don't even remember most of them.
I already didn't have much.. or I thought so. The minimalist game made me examine EVERYTHING I had, not just in my room, but in my life in general. I realized that many of the items I owned were unnecessary or weren't fulfilling.
In a way, you can be imprisoned by the stuff you have and the hundred other things you want to have.
That's why it's very freeing to simplify your life, starting with the things you own.
After that, you move on to other aspects of your life. Such as, goals, hobbies, to the apps you have on your phone.
For me, simplifying makes sense.
Why work your ass off just to keep buying the things you think you want, or worse, need.
I know exactly what’s in my room now. From clothes to hair ties.
I became more aware of the things I purchase and only buy what will really add value to my life or wellbeing.
If you suffer from compulsive shopping, I think doing the minimalist challenge will really benefit you. It makes you think about the items you want to buy logically before making a purchase.
Today with online shopping, the minute you “think” that you need something, in less than five minutes, you can buy it. This can be dangerous; we see many advertisement every day. (The average American sees ~4,000 advertisements a day!) If we are constantly being sold something, eventually it might affect us and make us think that we need things that didn’t even exist yesterday.
It also made me realize that we buy things we already have; simply because we have so much stuff that we don't know what we have and what we don't. Worse, sometimes, we buy things just because they’re sold for a good price, even though we don’t need them.
The desire to possess and enjoy what another has, drives a person to do evil deeds. From this desire spring the urge to steal and the urge to covet. Asteya (a=not, steya=stealing) … The yogi reduces his physical needs to the minimum, believing that is he gathers things he does not really need, he is a thief. While other men crave for wealth, power, fame or enjoyment, the yogi has one craving and that is to adore the Lord.
(Light on Yoga, B.K.S Iyengar 34)
Your life will be getting richer. The less you have, the more room you make for the things that matter. You have more time, energy, and money to spend on what you really care about. Things that will actually enrich your life. Knowledge, community, family, meaningful relationships, health, happiness, and kindness.
Stop chasing after superficial pleasures. And learn to distinguish between attachments and necessities.
In a nutshell, it’s more organized, freeing, saves money, gives you a clear mind, and reduces stress to have less stuff.
I will continue to simplify my life more every day. For now, this feels good.
Below are different methods you can use to simplify your life. They start out by the most extreme method to the easiest.
Packing everything in a box
For a month, pack everything you own in boxes as if you're going to move. Only keep the essentials, like your toothbrush. If you need something, you can go get it out of the box. After the month is over, get rid of all the things you didn't use during that month.
The Minimalism Game
For a month, get rid of one thing on the first day, two on the second, three on the third and so on. This is what I did. This challenge can get hard when you reach the 20s, that's why The Minimalists suggest that you do it with a friend or two, and whoever lasts the longer wins!
Three Different Piles
1. Necessary - the things you use on a daily/weekly basis.
2. Need to think about it - Now be honest with yourself!
After you get rid of the things in the third pile, split the first two piles to three again and again. Until you reach your limit.
How Many Items Do You Have?
Simply, count how many items you have. You'll be shocked by how many things you own just in your bathroom or closet.
Start with one room at a time. You can start with your bedroom, for example, then move on to the kitchen, and keep going around the house. Repeat.
Ask yourself, what's important?
Focus on that.
And experience the joy of simple living.