Minimalism – are you trapped living for ‘just in case’?

What is minimalism? If Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus (The Minimalists) had to sum it up in a single sentence, they would say, Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

There’s a minimalism buzz in our office (well maybe just our pod) at the moment, all thanks to Paola who watched the documentary on Netflix ‘The Minimalists’, and started spreading the word. In fact on the day that Paola told me about it, it set a fire burning inside me that as I stood in front of my wardrobe that night to choose my outfit for the next work day, I started having a clear out. 3 pairs of shoes and 7 items of clothing later I thought I better stop and go to bed. This is BEFORE I had even watched the documentary.

“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”
The Minimalists

The best 5 things I got rid of

A few days later, when I watched the documentary I found the concept so fascinating. I’d heard of minimalism before, but more in the context of interior design. 1 chair, 1 lamp, 1 table that kind of thing, but the idea of stripping back your belongings and really thinking about why you buy all this ‘stuff’ in the first place took it to a different level. The reasons behind it, and how realising that buying these material objects don’t make us happy. 

Having moved my life halfway across the world, which I talked about in my previous post here, I’m no stranger to having to clear out my belongings, and having moved house about every 2-3 years since I was 18 I have regular ‘life laundering’ sessions. I was due another one. 

Here are the best 5 things I got rid of:

The dress I wore on my 30th birthday. 

It’s a beautiful dress, yet it represents a bad time in my life. Turning 30, single and working in a job I hated was not fun (for those that don’t know my full story, read it here). My lifestyle was terrible and my shape reflected my lifestyle. I tried this dress on last October (over 3 years since I wore it) for a wedding, I wasn’t looking to buy anything new so I thought this would do.

I wore it to the wedding and there is only 1 picture of mine and Tom’s faces at that wedding. No body shots. I hated that I could fit into that dress – it fitted differently now, but the pyschological impact was not cool. I felt self-conscious all day.

So that was FIRST on the list. Goodbye bad dress!

More clothes 

  • Pyjama’s
  • Gym clothes
  • Swimming caps
  • Jeans
  • A cargo jacket (that makes me feel like a 12 year old boy – not the cool ‘All Saints’ style I was aiming for)
  • T-shirts
  • Towels
  • A black blazer (that I keep ‘just in case’ for formal occasions)

DVD’s

There aren’t many here, and that’s because I gave the rest in the UK in 2011, along with my entire CD collection. 

Streaming is a great way for us all to minimalise. Thanks streaming guys!!

(Note: Nobody can tear me apart from my Sex and the City box set DVD’s tucked away in one of those pouch folder things. I love those girls!)

Shoes

I went from 24 pairs to 15. 

Here’s a tip…if you have gone an entire year (all 4 seasons) and you haven’t worn them, then they can go. 

Winter is creeping up on us again in Australia, but I didn’t wear my biker boots in Winter 2016, because I wore them to death in Winter 2015. So time to say goodbye!

A bag of coat hangers

I know, I’m ashamed of myself for having this under my bed for the past year since we moved in.

They have now gone, now all that’s left under the bed is a hat that I’ve worn twice in the past 3 years. Ooooh good thinking batman, right that hat is going too! 

 

So, as you can see the documentary made quite an impact on me, and I’ve been thinking about it on a daily basis over the past 10 days or so. This isn’t new news, but maybe it’s something you haven’t thought about before. Here’s one last word from The Minimalists.

The Mimimalists elevator pitch

“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.

There are many flavors of minimalism: a 20-year-old single guy’s minimalist lifestyle looks different from a 45-year-old mother’s minimalist lifestyle. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.

Getting started is as simple as asking yourself one question: How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?”

 

Lucy x

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