I like listening and watching TED talks. I think they are inspiring and I am not the only one. A while back I was watching a TED talk by Joshua Fields Millburn. He is 50% of the duo that calls themselves “The Minimalists”, who run a succesful blog and live a minimalist lifestyle. If you’re interested in minimalism or want to read my experience, keep reading.
I immediately became intrigued in the way Joshua described minimalism: freeing and a way to make room for more important things in life, like your health and relationships. It’s a way of cutting items out of your life and ending up with more free time, more money and more peace.
Everyone has their own kind of minimalism. I got some really strange looks when I started telling my friends about minimalism. Let me sketch myself to make this clear: I’m a 21 year old shopaholic from a middle income family. My house is filled with picture frames, candles, decorations and more candles. It’s always cozy and homely. Not exactly a minimalist, right? I’ve always been told: “If you want something, you can work for it”. So I did. I started working at age 11 and I started spending everything I earned. I worked for it, so I got to spend it, right? This went from going into the city once every month, to every two weeks, to every time I got off of school, to moving to the city and being able to go there daily.
Needless to say, this was not good for my wallet. But next to that, it was also not good for my room. My parents always told me to tidy my room because I had so many items. My closet was always filled to the brim and a total mess. When I moved into my own apartment, I realized that I had too many items and too little storage. Instead of clearing items, I just got more closets to store everything in. This would leave me with loads of overfilled closets and no time or motivation to search through them and see what I own. Not exactly what you’d expect a minimalist’s house to look like.
So what’s my type of minimalism? It’s not a couch without pillows (I see you Nate O’Brienn) or an ever clear desk space. It’s a sometimes messy house, sometimes tidy house. It’s me donating garbage bags full of clothing and and plushies at one moment, just to trip over a bunch of cat toys and boxes the next. My type of minimalism is more of a financial version. I’ve taught myself not to impulsively buy every cute decoration or pillow I see. I (try to) make well balances choices when spending my income. Of course, every once in a while I’m allowed a little splurge, but not without thinking it over for at least 24 hours and only if I can easily afford it.
This is a way to ensure no more ‘useless’ items enter my apartment and I get to keep my money in my wallet. If you mix this habit with routinely clearing out your items, you will end up with less and less items as time goes by. I’m the first to admit that this is not the easiest road. Sometimes I sidetrack (or backtrack…) and find myself in stores again. It has been a part of my routine for such a long time and I do need to block myself from the stores or online shopping sometimes to keep me on track.
I do not think I’ll ever be able to get rid of everything the way Joshua did. If you want to read more about his experience, you can read about it here on the blog he runs with his best friend. If you want to keep up with my experience, don’t hesitate subscribing to my blog!