How I’m making minimalism work for me

As I’ve been getting ready for my big move I’ve been experiencing major purging fits with all my “stuff.” Now mind you I’ve moved 3 times in the last 4 years, and each time I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff. However with every previous move I’ve had access to a moving truck—a seemingly endless space in which to haul all my stuff. With this next move I can pretty much only bring what I can fit in my car. I’m also storing a few boxes of books at my dad’s house and will ship a few things out to myself if need be, but mostly I’m trying to only bring what I can fit in my car.

Minimalism

It’s incredibly freeing to get rid of so much stuff—especially since I just moved 8 months ago. I didn’t think I could get rid of more stuff, but I was wrong! My rule has always been: if I haven’t used it since I’ve been at this apartment I have to get rid of it. This was working out well until I realized that I still had a lot of stuff. How did that happen?

I started researching Minimalism thinking that among the extremists I would also find some middle-of-the-road minimalists who knew how to balance minimalism in the modern world. I stumbled across The Minimalists and quickly devoured most of their blog posts. I also read their book, Everything that Remains. Overall I really liked their definition of Minimalism:

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

Now that’s a concept I can get behind! Isn’t that what we’re all striving for—happiness, fulfillment, and freedom? I know I am. That’s what my move to Maine is all about. I feel like I stumbled across minimalism at just the right time. I’m excited to apply this concept to not only physical items, but also in all aspects of my life.

Here are some ways I’m making minimalism work for me:

  • For the most part I’m only bringing out to Maine what I can fit in my car.
  • I am letting go of relationships that stress me out and have stopped adding value to my life.
  • I am recommitting to wellness not just with eating well, but by doing more mindful exercises as well.
  • I am cutting down on TV time—truthfully this one wasn’t that hard since I usually opt for a book in my free time anyway.
  • I am getting rid of duplicate items, just-in-case items, and things that I don’t use that frequently.

What’s great is that minimalism doesn’t have to be extreme. You can tweak the rules so that they work for you.

What are some ways you can shift your focus so that you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom?

9 Comments

  1. That’s awesome what you’re doing, bending the “rules” to fit your style. 🙂

    Personally, I’ve come to see rules as nothing more than suggestions. Whatever works for me is whatever works for me. And for me, I’ve found that I’m incredibly minimalist in terms of physical items. For example, I don’t have furniture. Yes, I always get a shocked expression from people when they find out and/or see my empty apartment for themselves. They ask me, “Where do you sit?” and I answer, “Anywhere I feel like sitting.” Seriously, all I have to do is lay down a blanket and sit and I’m completely comfortable.

    That said, I find it funny how me and anyone else will have two different perspectives on seeing where I live. As I said before, when someone walks into my apartment, they see emptiness, thinking that it should be filled, and maybe imagining how it can be filled. When I walk into my apartment, I see all of the space I have to be grateful for. Maybe my apartment is metaphorical of me, of the way I enjoy having and appreciating something (in this instance, space) simply for what it is.

    In essence, I found greater value in the fewer things, and that which people tend to miss, by removing the distractions of the many things that weren’t terribly valued.

    • That’s awesome that you found a minimalist style that works for you! I respect your bold choice to live without any furniture. I still require a few of the basics, but I’m amazed at how little I use a lot of it. It’s definitely going to make my move smoother knowing I don’t really need most of it.
      I’m a big fan of rule bending! You need to do what’s right for you. That’s what it’s all about! 🙂

    • It’s excellent. They talk about their journey to Minimalism and aren’t pushy about their methods. It’s very, “This is what worked for us, but you should do what feels right for you.” It’s a quick read too so that always helps. 🙂

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