I am a minimalist, my possessions bring beauty and usefulness and I have only that which does. I settle into the calming space around these items in my home; simplicity and contentment. I have discovered the calm and beauty of a minimalist life.
It was around December just over a year ago that I first became aware of minimalist living through a story reported by The Feed (watch it here), it displayed the lives of people who have simplified their homes and how they use their time. I was immediately inspired by this brilliance, people were actually choosing to step away from the smothering consumerism and need for more. The social requirement to out-do your neighbour had fallen away and in that absence the people had less debt, more free time for themselves and families; they created contentment, happiness and peace. I was impressed and began the hunt for other people choosing this way of life. Thanks to these two happy fellas Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus better known as The Minimalists I have learned some excellent ways to implement minimalism.
When my partner Elphie and I decided to move into our first place we experienced the first step toward a minimalist life. We condensed what we packed for the new place down to things we needed for everyday living and items that we truly loved. This process ranged from realizing we only needed four forks instead of eight to letting go of clothing items not worn for over two years. We packed up at least five or more bags of clothing and about three boxes of general ‘stuff’ to donate. To be honest it was a huge surprise that self-described ‘non-hoarders’ could have accumulated so much. For me this was liberating; letting go and simplifying our home allowed the space for new realizations. I realized I would much prefer to spend time with a friend over a cup of tea then get likes on my Instagram posts from them. I realized that a bunch of flowers, a hug and good conversation are some of the best gifts I could ask for, or give to others. And simply taking a stroll through our neighbourhood hand-in-hand whilst sharing our day and our hopes for the future is one of the most precious luxuries my partner and I can give to each other for our happiness and not to mention it helps me to become a better listener.
Elphie now calls us hedonistic minimalists meaning we have just enough of what brings us pleasure, with no need to have things just for the sake of having them. Buying more ‘stuff’ and filling up our spaces, whilst possibly living outside of our means for items that can never truly fulfil us is not how we want to spend our time. Time being one of our greatest commodities, needless to say its much better spent with one another.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. – Hans Hofmann
The Minimalism Documentary has helped inspire my journey and hopefully yours too. Check it out by clicking on the image: