I didn’t intend to become a minimalist. I sort of stumbled upon it the same way I used to stumble upon the daily mound of toys and clothes and games and shoes and bags and crap that finds it’s way into the homes of many (particularly those with young children).
I grew up in the States where everything is bigger (and supposedly better) and my large wardrobe and storage capacity could sustain a new outfit every week. I bought a lot of stuff and I bought it frequently. Moving to Sydney in 2007 was a huge shock for me. The lack of space combined with outrageous fashion prices forced a gradual and ever-so reluctant downsizing of shopping sprees. Still I was attached to everything I owned, even if half of it was in a vac-pack stuffed in storage and I hadn’t seen it in years.
Then motherhood arrived and our humble two bedroom apartment that was once enough soon became bedlam. It may sound silly but the chaos of stuff everywhere gave me anxiety. I couldn’t function. Despite downsizing for years I was overwhelmed by the obscene amount of things we owned yet rarely used. I had to declutter.
I started by setting limits. First limit, the only thing I could keep in vacuum storage bags was winter coats, maternity clothes or baby clothes. Everything else had to be in my wardrobe to be worn, otherwise sold or donated. Another limit was to stop making frivolous purchases by questioning how many times I would wear the item and how I needed to clean and care for it.
There were books that really helped me with decluttering too. New York Times #1 bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy both by Marie Kondo gave me huge inspiration to tackle all aspects of our home.
In the process of tidying up, I became increasingly aware of how much I used to value (or thought I valued) these possessions but in reality they were of very little value to me. I realised it is impossible to truly value and feel grateful for the things you have if you’re constantly filling your life with more and more stuff. It’s hard to break free from the influence of modern culture and its insatiable appetite for consumption, but when you do it is liberating. For me, it was motherhood that introduced a fresh perspective on values, basic needs and contentment, but having children isn’t the only way to enlightenment. Adopting a life of minimalism is powerful and can be life-changing.
Joshua Becker, WSJ bestselling author of The More of Less, aims to inspire others to live more by owning less. Becker says, “At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.”
Creating a life of minimalism is not something that happens overnight rather it is a rewiring of the brain that takes time. Step by step it is a journey of self-actualisation and liberation. It is a process of decluttering your life so that you can live intentionally, wholeheartedly and contentedly.
Are you ready to break free from the unfulfilling cycle of wasteful consumption?
Take care & stay savvy!
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