After I sent out my first draft, I was told I needed an obnoxious and funny introduction, and I can’t seem to think of anything really. The only thing that comes to mind is that at some stage we’re all going to feel like Luke and Han Solo in the trash compactor after we’ve saved Princess Leia. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… knee deep in shit, although we’ll be minus the laser guns and 7-foot hairy monster… maybe.
Less is more, it’s the new thing. You can search the internet on Minimalism and find hundreds of articles by anyone who’s had some kind of interest. Give it long enough and this will be one of those articles too.
People in their droves are looking into decluttering, minimalism and downsizing. Now seeing the benefits of having fewer possessions and more space, it gives more time to themselves and the people around them.
Minimalism isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to your problems, and if you’re interested in making more time for yourself you’re going to have to do some research. Minimalism isn’t also about having nothing or having less, it’s about having “enough” and it’s also valuing what you have.
My first step into minimalism was after I moved house, I moved a whole truckload from the garage at one house and directly into the garage to the next, and thought to myself “why do I have so much shit?”. Do I need a second, three seater couch and two chairs? Do I need a second computer desk? Clearly, the answer was no, why have it when it’s not going to be used?
From there, the ever long process of downsizing and decluttering began. It stemmed further, and in some very harsh ways. From the clothes I own and wear, the things I use in my kitchen, to even people. I decluttered, minimalised and looked for value in everything I owned, used, or included in my life.
It’s been about 6 or 7 years that this process has been taking place, but I’m almost at that stage where I could call myself a minimalist, maybe. For some people, there will always be a quest to find more value in the less that you have.
Minimalism can be a morbid thought, but an honest one. Are the possessions in your house something you will remember lying your deathbed? Did that car you bought bring joy to your life? That huge book collection might look impressive, but how often do you read all those books?
A push for consumerism drives everyone to buy more, the bragging rights to having the most expensive, the newest, the rare or the unique. It all comes down to a practical and valuable use for your possessions. The practicality and value will depend on the person, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise what you should and shouldn’t keep.
If you look at a possession, ask yourself “does this make me happy? Do I have any use for it? How long has it been since I used it?”. It is around these questions that you will start to find what is and isn’t useful for you.
If you’re interested in finding out more, I highly suggest checking out “The Minimalists” documentary. Available on Netflix now and also their website, they also have a podcast. Both Joshua and Ryan of the Minimalists have books available. For a no-bullshit approach, try and get hold of the ebook “You have too much shit” at www.youhavetoomuchshit.com, and of course, Rebecca and her organising and decluttering skills that are available at Clearspace.