Monday, January 7, 2019

What Minimalism Means to Me

Coffee Talk Series on minimalism

As a new year begins, I realize that it really is an opportunity to begin anew.  I have not set resolutions for the year but I have set intentions.  I have set a purpose for everything I want to do.

Minimalism is about setting intentions for what you want, need, and do.  It is not just about throwing away all your stuff.  The question you have to ask yourself is 'Why do I feel the need to consume so much?"

About six months ago, I asked myself, "Can I live with less?" and I discovered that, for me, the answer was and ever remains a resounding YES!  Then the question became, "HOW?" That is when I discovered minimalism.

The best way for me to describe the concept is by using the analogy: Minimalism is to decluttering as Stress is to things.

The process of decluttering is far more painless when you realize what it is you want and become focused on attaining that.  For me, I wanted peace of mind, freedom to travel, and less stress.  The more I gave away, the more relief I felt.  Opportunities to give surfaced, which made the process much more enjoyable for all parties involved.  The intent was more about giving to those who could find use for the items and less about trying to make a few bucks.

We really can live with less.

If you are interested in pursuing the idea of minimalism here are a few helpful tips.

  • Use it or Lose it.  Get rid of anything you have been storing in hopes of using it "someday."  Things harbor memories, it's true, but they also carry mental and physical weight that can keep you stuck in time and place.  Rule of thumb: If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it or pass it along to someone who can use it.  Donate it to charity.  
  • Declutter your life.  Sometimes we don't realize how much stuff we are hanging on to until we start cleaning house.  When you get rid of unnecessary items, you make room for bigger and better things to move into your space--physically, mentally, and spiritually.   
  • Experience freedom.  Once you start giving things away you feel light.  
  • Practice Gratitude.   When you are content with what you have, you don't feel the need to consume things.   Less truly is more!

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please share your comments below.  

Online resources on minimalism - a quarterly digital publication - the guys who started the minimalist movement - 7 Tiny steps for the Beginner Minimalist

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