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Living with Less (Minimalism)
The Start of a New Adventure
Hi, I’m Alex, I’m a student. I’ve never written an article before but here we go.... I’ve just moved in to a shared house with my friends. A few weeks ago I came across the term minimalism. For those of you who don’t know what minimalism is, it’s a tool that allows people to only keep “things” they need or add value to their life.
For me I found that I was living from allowance to allowance, month to month and any money I received I’d spend on things that I “thought” would make me happy. Unfortunately most often this was not the case. Heaps of clothes that I never wore, bags full of junk that I never threw out and shelves overcrowding with sentimental items and gifts that just sat still and collected dust. I struggled to keep my room clean as there was too much “stuff.” My life became complicated and there was too much clutter in my life.
I thought deeply about what my life would look like with less. The more I thought, the more I realised the benefits. I soon found there were no negatives.
Imagine living in a world where everything you had, you appreciated. This all seemed too unachievable.
The first step I took was to declutter my wardrobe. For most people this is the hardest step but for me it was easy. I knew the shirts I hadn’t worn in years from the ones that I loved. One bag full for the charity shop and one bag full for the rag collection. From donating clothing, I felt as if I was helping other people and it made me feel charitable, a true feeling not many people can say they have felt in a while.
When packing to leave home I thought about what I really needed and what adds value to my life. I was hard on myself and only took the necessary items. Surprisingly I managed to fill only the boot of the car which was a record (compared to previous attempts, filling the whole back seats and every nook and cranny).
I set my goals and intentions with my friend who also took on the same challenge. We wanted to appreciate everything that we had, more time to do the things we loved, but most of all, we wanted to do more with our life than consume.
Not only is minimalism about physical clutter, it’s also about the constant digital and mental clutter. As I look around me, I see people on their phones being antisocial. I’ve realised that we don’t control of phones, our phones control us! Gone are the time wasting social media apps where I would spend hours a day scrolling through other people’s lives that I hadn’t seen in years, people who I had never held a conversation with or seen (who I have heard of through friends of friends). No more refreshing a screen after posting a photo of a memory I had enjoyed and feeling discontent when the “likes” weren’t “enough.” What is enough? Who are “friends? And what are “likes?” One thing I have learned is that living in the moment taught me that being happy and wearing things that make me and only me feel confident in is better than living up to a “standard”. I want to break the cycle, Live a more meaningful life and most importantly..... I want truly be happy for myself!!
I hope that this article inspires or raises awareness/conversation to what I think is a really great idea!