As a youngster, especially as a teenager, I was a sentimental hoarder. I had boxes filled with the most trivial mementoes from every single dance show and competition I’d ever done. I kept every gift my friends or family bought me. I had shelves upon shelves of books and DVDs. Over the years, my tiny box room at my parent’s house became beyond full.
Whilst I was at university and fundraising for a charity Kilimanjaro climb, I began regularly doing car boot sales. Over the course of 3 years, I sold and donated a significant chunk of my belongings. This began a shift in my mindset, I became an avid lover of ‘purging.’ Every couple of months I was donating even more of my belongings. The same happened again when I finally bought my own place last year and had to pack up to move. With the exception of my accumulated 2nd hand furniture, all I brought with me was clothes, books and DVDs (yes – I’d purged these, but I still do have A LOT…). I even purge regularly on social media – however, I think the fact that I have two Facebook’s (one personal, one professional) makes this easier as I don’t purge the professional one…
Even now, five months into living in my new place, I am still constantly purging. I’ve come to realise that I don’t need or want more space. I love this little flat and its size is absolutely ideal for me. What I need, and want, is less stuff.
And that’s where minimalism has popped up – creeping into my headspace through the wonders of Pinterest. I won’t preach to you and pretend that I now own very little and that I am currently a successful minimalist. What I will share with you are five reasons why I am embracing this outlook and how I hope it will help to shape my life in the coming months and years.
- I have less clutter – which means less cleaning and tidying
I rather enjoy cleaning my little flat, probably because it’s so compact that it doesn’t take me too long. But I hate mess and clutter around the place. By gradually learning to let go of inessential items that don’t serve a purpose or bring me joy, I am reducing clutter and the dissatisfaction that comes with it.
- I am saving money.
By not going out each week after my payday (being paid weekly is AWESOME) and splurging on unnecessary clothes and trinkets anymore, I am setting aside a comfortable amount of money each month to save for things that really matter to me – money to travel, redecorate my flat how I like it, and also building up the funds I’ll need for when my ever-faithful Ford Fiesta finally conks out on me in the future.
- I’m valuing the importance of experiences and memories.
I want to make a point of travelling more, seeing more exhibitions, attending more shows, exploring. Also creating memories with my friends and family. Whenever I die, I don’t think I’ll say ‘I wish I bought that new phone’, but I’ll be thinking about the parts of the world I never saw and the nice things I should have said to those I love.
- I’m exercising my ability to ‘let go’.
By practising this through letting go of material things, it is improving my ability to let go of day-to-day stress or thoughts that are weighing on my mind. I can still be a cow, especially when I first wake up, but I am more aware of this now and how it affects my wellbeing and those around me.
- Slowly but surely I’m beginning to compare myself with others less.
It’s a gradual process, but I’m learning to understand and appreciate people’s different outlooks and wants from life more.
Minimalism is not for everyone, and I’ll be honest – I’m more likely to use these life lessons to live more simply as opposed to fully minimally, but I’d love to hear your experiences of it, how it has affected your outlook on life. Feel free to drop me a message on Twitter to chat. You can find me at @LisaBoylesMedia.