Living with less “stuff” scares most people. In our society, we are bombarded with messages that material goods, equates to happiness, success, and popularity through everyday media. By taking a step back and analyzing the purpose of each object that you purchase, you have the potential to take control over your own happiness. This alternative lifestyle, Minimalism, encourages people to live with less, to get more out of life. Understanding the role that each object plays in your daily life creates clarity, saves you money, and opens the opportunity for a meaningful life!
Clearing your house of material goods that don’t bring you genuine happiness, don’t serve a real purpose, or are never used is an extremely freeing experience. After going through my bedroom and realizing just how many unused items I had accumulated over the years, I was struck with the realization that I mindlessly overbuy. The various purchases I had previously bought were merely representative of my desire to appear a certain way; intelligent, attractive, trendy, etc. Beyond the wastefulness of all my unnecessary purchases, I had also wasted a ton of money. Taking the time to think purchases through before buying can lead to personal happiness.
Detoxing your living space of senseless items is only the beginning of living minimalistic. The job that is considerably harder, that you will be faced with everyday, is determining whether or not an object will serve a real purpose in your life, enough so, that it will justify it’s purchase. Personally, I found this to be incredibly difficult the first few weeks of living minimal. I had to mentally change the way I viewed objects. Instead of seeing items as something that I wanted to have, I began forcing myself to see them as things I actually needed to have. By critically thinking what I already have, and if it’s a necessity to have more of, I dramatically limited my spendings and in turn had less junk.
Over time, I began feeling calmer in my house, as my spaces began to stay organized. Through having less objects, I began to appreciate the ones I had all the more. And, when I found myself needing to buy something, I justified buying a better quality version. Though increasing quality often means increasing price, taking the time to think through my purchases allows me to make sure that the items I do end up purchasing will stay in my life longer, saving me money in the long run.
Minimalism is not a cut and dry lifestyle, everyone lives it differently. No matter how you can apply the principles of minimalism in your life, I am positive that you will find more happiness and serenity in your life from less things. By following the path less taken and challenging yourself to become a more conscious consumer, you will find yourself having more time and money to take part in activities and make memories. With less objects filling your house, and dwindling your wallet, you will be able to focus on enjoying life based on your memories instead of your material possessions.