Minimalism. I had heard the term before but truly only started to dive deep and start living a minimal life when I stumbled across the minimalist podcast.
When I looked them up, there they were black and white. Simple as. Minimalism defined.
I listened to one episode and instantly fell in love with these guys and their view of the world. They went from top notch corporate jobs to blogging about minimalism and touring the US to give talks.
Not only were they touching on the profound topic that I’ve been determined to master lately – decluttering and tidying, but they take the topic to a much deeper level than just getting rid of all of the shit that’s stuffed into the back of your closet.
What it means to live a minimal life
Minimalism (defined by the minimalists and for what I believe it to be) is about stripping everything down.
It’s about keeping things simple, significant and only holding on to things that add value to your life.
It all starts out with redefining the way we think about physical things and objects and applying it to our everyday lives.
Physical objects are there to make our lives easier, but not to fulfill them. Enriching your life comes from things like relationships, personal growth and contribution. You are not your things, and they don’t define the person you are in any way.
Growing up in a completely consumerist world, this stuff was new to me. I was used to having a lot of things. The more the better right? And only once I started moving several times I started to realise that I didn’t even freaking need all of this stuff, nor did I want it. It was just a burden to be honest. But getting into the right mindset of throwing stuff out isn’t the easiest either (here are a few tips on how I did that).
So why do we live in such a consumerist world? Why do we love buying the big shiny car and the 4 bedroom house?
I think to a certain degree we do it because it gives us immediate gratification. We think short term, not long term. And buying something is much easier than investing a lot of time in a certain relationship perhaps. Or reflecting on who you are as a person and what you are doing with your life and so on. It’s a myth of society that has been made up to drive consumerism, and we’re paying for it out of our own pockets.
And honestly, shopping keeps us busy. It’s something we feel we do, I’m quite sure I called it a hobby of mine at some stage in my teens.
Shopping, a hobby – really Olivia?
Nowadays, I moreso dislike shopping and don’t do it half as often as I do. I buy out of necessity and not because I’m bored.
I would rather save that cash to go and see my family, friends or loved one overseas. Travel the world. Or purchase something of high quality that might cost a bit more but will last me at least a significant amount of time.
How you can start living a minimal life today
These are the main areas of my life I have applied minimalism to and you can too:
- Stuff: get rid of the shit you don’t need. Doing this physical task is actually the foundation of changing the way you think about how you can simplify your things and your life.
- Work: you know when you feel like you need to do like 1 million things at work, and as my colleague would say ‘you’re spread everywhere’ well that’s a shit feeling. We get in way over our heads and think we have to do this huge fancy excel sheet and analysis and what not. That’s all good and well, but in the end keeping things simple has a lot to say for itself. Scribbling on a piece of paper instead is just as good. I wrote about how you can apply minimalism at work over on the we work location independent blog, check it out.
- Food: I hate cooking. Nah really, I don’t really enjoy it. So I keep things simple. I buy fresh food that simply does not need much prep. Combine 1 carb, 2 veggies and one protein and season it well – and there you have it.
- Travel: Checkin luggage only. That way you only bring what you really need.
Are you a fan of minimalism? Let me know how you’ve applied it in your life below.
P.S. I wrote a post about becoming a tidier person and decluttering here 😉