I started my own minimalism story a little apprehensively. I couldn't understand the concept of having less being better for my life. However, with the help of Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus at ‘theminimalists.com’ I quickly discovered an idea that is much bigger than just de-cluttering.
Minimalism in essence is living life more intentionally. Getting rid of unnecessary items, which has a propensity to end up being nothing more than distractions and clutter, and focusing on the important things in life. ‘The Minimalists’ subscribe to the five values structure. ‘Life’s Important things’:
Joshua Fields Millburn said it best; “Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life's important things, which aren't actually things at all.”
Armed with this new subscription I tried my hand at starting a minimalist life. First thing I knew I had to do was declutter. I took the time to look at everything I own and ask myself some questions:
- Does this mean anything to me?
- Does it have a purpose?
- Does it bring me joy?
- Have I used this thing in the last ninety days?
- Do I plan on using it in the next ninety days?
- Is this causing me mental or financial stress?
If I answer negatively to most of the above, the item had to go. Some things like my Xbox 360, coffee machine, my Fiesta ST (a Ford sports car) and my collection of Warhammer models (google it if you must but don't judge me) were uploaded to gumtree, eBay or autotrader respectfully, and sold.
The most astonishing thing about this exercise was that it was easier to get rid of these things than I originally thought it would be. I didn't feel any regret or sadness afterwards. If I was being completely truthful, however, I would have to declare that getting rid of my beloved car was hard work but I will expand on that in another piece.
Once I had succeeded in throwing away or selling unnecessary things in my home I noticed a new found feeling of calm. There’s nothing to distract me or to encourage me to procrastinate.
Without realising it I was able to spend more time on the five values stated above. I have more time to take exercise and my ‘health’ seriously. I am more considerate and thoughtful to the important ‘relationships’ in my life. I have been writing a lot more which is my biggest ‘passion’. I am focusing on my ‘growth’ by reading and learning more. Last but not least, I have found time to ‘contribute’ to others less fortunate than myself.
These five values, which are the offspring of Josh and Ryan from ‘theminimalists.com,' will be the foundation of future minimalism posts and my minimalist lifestyle. Lets see how I get on.