Minimalism really speaks to me for many reasons. Living with less is truly gratifying if it’s something you are interested in. A few of the reasons I like the idea of minimalism is because I save money by not buying new things, my existing things don’t cost as much money as if I had the upkeep of more items, and I’m not contributing to the consumerism. I hate supporting large companies that don’t care about their workers, the environment, or anything other than their bottom line.
I love the idea of not keeping things in my home that aren’t useful or that I love. If it’s not something that I use on a regular basis, it’s gone. If I don’t absolutely love it, it’s gone. Of course, some things (like holiday decorations) are excluded but not exempt. This year I went through my Christmas decorations and donated some items that I had been hanging onto just because I had the room.
Even though it may seem like I’m always decluttering and donating items, I don’t think I’ll ever be a 50 or 100 things minimalist. I like knowing that I have the flexibility to be able to get rid of things at any time, and that I haven’t formed attachments to Stuff. I like going through my clothing and getting rid of things that don’t fit well, are worn, or even just don’t look good. What’s the point of keeping something because “I’ll fit into it someday” or “I love the way this looks on the hanger!”?
One misunderstanding about minimalism is that minimalism = not comfy and cozy. I think there’s a way to balance minimalism with practicality, and keeping things that make a house a home (but not cluttered) are absolutely necessary. I don’t want to live in a sterile environment!
I think a minimalist lifestyle helps save money and live green in many ways. The most obvious is that you aren’t spending money on purchasing the latest and greatest items that come out. Thinking about purchases and figuring out whether you really need that new item helps you figure out what’s really important to you. Less consumerism means more money in your pocket and less crap in your house and then eventually in the landfill.
There are many times that I struggle with spending money. I have to force myself to realize that when I need something or want something and have saved up enough to pay cash for it, then it’s okay. Sometimes I think that being frugal and being a minimalist means that I don’t deserve nice and new things. That’s totally a distorted way to look at it, but it’s how I feel. I have to remind myself that as long as I am good 80% of the time, the other 20% of the time it’s okay to live a little.
Minimalism is all about balance. I wouldn’t be happy if someone came in my house and removed all the items except for a select few. I also wouldn’t be happy if someone brought a bunch of crap to my house either though! Finding a happy medium in a minimalist lifestyle is so individual that no matter how many blogs you read about it, they still won’t be able to tell you what’s important to you and what you need to keep and what you need to get rid of. That’s completely up to you.
What about a minimalist lifestyle interests you?