Minimalism is about keeping things simple. This appeals to me, as a person who lives with a chaotic brain keeping things simple reduces that chaos and helps me to focus on what’s important.
I recently watched a documentary about Minimalism recommended to me by the lovely HelloIt’sGemma. Here is the trailer if you fancy watching it.
I’ve always leaned towards minimalism, preferring less material possessions and minimal decor. However life in a family is about compromise, so I am surrounded by more than I would prefer, and that’s not going to change. I can control how much I consume personally though, and inspired by the documentary I intend to consume less from now on.
I’ve regularly fallen into the modern trap of looking for solutions in purchases. Obsessing that owning the right clothing, gadget or book will solve my problems and leave me feeling more content. Believing that money and the things that it buys will make me happy. Ultimately though that’s simply not true.
I have needs, food, shelter, warmth, love. I need money to cover some of these needs, and that will contribute towards my happiness. I have possessions that enhance my experience of life, my laptop helps me connect with friends, my lego collection makes me smile everyday.
Beyond this though adding more possessions doesn’t satisfy me. It makes me greedy, it makes me want more and more. It costs money, time, and space. An unhealthy cycle of desire and dissatisfaction. I’ve had enough.
I’m not a massive consumer. I don’t desire a fancy handbag or the latest fashionable clothes, but I am guilty of buying things that I simply don’t need, or ultimately want if I examine the cost. So I’m making a change. From now on I’m going to be a more mindful consumer. I will not buy something unless I have carefully examined it’s purpose in my life and whether it is truly useful or needed.
I won’t be visiting the shops for recreation. Beyond that if I do visit the shops for something I need I will resist popping into other shops, I will avoid being drawn in by their clever marketing strategies and only buy what I went for. I won’t buy because it’s reduced, because it’s not cheap if I didn’t need it and it clutters my life.
I don’t need to own excess amounts of the same item. I will carefully figure out what the required quantity of each item is and stick to that amount. Only replacing when worn and unusable. I will borrow items needed for a short purpose, I will happily lend to others for similar.
A few years ago I decided to apply this principle to phone ownership. I had recently bought a new iPhone and decided to see how long my phone could last. Having generally replaced my phone roughly every two years I am currently the owner of a phone which is four years and four months old and still works perfectly well. We replace things too quickly!
Here are my aims:
- Only spend money on things I really need.
- Only shop for those things – refuse to be sold more.
- Only replace things that are no longer useable.
Simplifying my life is one of my goals for 2017. Minimalism is one step towards achieving this aim. I’ll keep you updated as I begin this journey. Here’s to less most definitely being more.